FedEx Performance Zone: Genk high-flier

Genk's Timoty Castagne and Celta Vigo team-mates Mallo and Iago Aspas are into the top ten in the UEFA Europa League form tracker; UEFA.com meets some of Thursday's big movers.

Watch Lacazette thunderbolt in Lyon-Roma thriller

Genk and Celta Vigo players are among the big movers following the round of 16 second legs; UEFA.com speaks to some of Thursday's star turns.

5: Timoty Castagne (Genk)
Castagne becomes the new top-ranked full-back in the FedEx Performance Zone thanks to his goal against Gent and impressive recent performances. "We did not get many chances and I scored a goal, so that is always something to be happy about," he told UEFA.com. "It is my second goal in the Europa League, and it was better than my first."

Highlights: Krasnodar 0-2 Celta
Highlights: Krasnodar 0-2 Celta

7: Mallo (Celta)
Celta's captain on the night contributed a goal and played a key role in his side's clean sheet against Krasnodar. "I'm not just glad because I scored," he said. "We clearly deserved a place in quarter-finals. Iago Aspas is our most valuable player. We try to pass the ball to him at every opportunity because he knows what to do in front of goal. He is a natural leader."

10: Iago Aspas (Celta)
The striker chipped in with another goal to help his side to a 2-0 win in Russia and created another two chances for team-mates. "I am not selfish – I like to set goals up as well as score them," he explained, before giving a reciprocal nod to his team-mate. "Mallo has been excellent this month. He deserves a place in national team."

Highlights: Manchester United 1-0 Rostov
Highlights: United 1-0 Rostov

25: Antonio Valencia (Man. United)
A big performance by the Ecuadorian helped José Mourinho's men to a 1-0 win against stubborn Rostov, as he played at right wing-back and was a constant threat going forward. He provided ten crosses, produced four dribbles, won three corners and fashioned three chances.

30: Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş)
Quaresma was bright going forward but dug in during the second half against Olympiacos, making five clearances when the pressure was on. "We struggled after Vincent Aboubakar's dismissal but we fought as a team," he said. "Our togetherness was excellent. My performance was fine. I got an assist tonight but what matters most is the team."

41: Andy Najar (Anderlecht)
Playing in the unfamiliar position of left-back, Najar had an outstanding game against APOEL. "Considering that my natural position is not on the left side, I had a good match," he said. "We knew we had to win it, so I am happy with the result and with qualification for the quarter-finals."

Watch as ten-man Beşiktaş beat Olympiacos
Watch ten-man Beşiktaş beat Olympiacos

43: Ryan Babel (Beşiktaş)
The winger scored with both of his attempts in Beşiktaş's 4-1 victory and misplaced only three of his 27 passes. "I tried to do my job, in attack and defence," he said. "A lot of defensive work was necessary. On top of this, if you can score a goal, that is something extra for yourself. I'm pleased with my goals but I'm more pleased that we are through."

47: Juan Mata (Man. United)
Mata's goal capped a superb display against Rostov. "It was important to go ahead and keep the lead for two reasons," he explained. "For one, the museum in the stadium because we could have a new trophy, and secondly it gives us the chance to play in the Champions League next season. It will be hard because there are good teams in the competition."

58: Leon Goretzka (Schalke)
Although the Schalke midfielder admitted his goal had an element of good fortune about it, he was a key man in Schalke's comeback at Mönchengladbach."Lady Luck was definitely on our side in the second half, but we were due a slice of good fortune," he said. "We're very happy to have reached the quarter-finals and to have beaten such a strong opponent."

Patrik Andersson (UEFA Europa League group stage draw)
©Getty Images

Patrik Andersson's view
Looking on the bright side, Gladbach's elimination means I have no dog in the final fight and there will be no doubting my ambassadorial neutrality; I would be genuinely delighted to see any of our remaining teams in the decider now.

Hats off to Leon Goretzka, too, who was genuinely great for Schalke. Meanwhile in FedEx Performance Zone world, it's good to see Celta and Genk players at the top end of the leaderboard – neither side started out among the favourites in the round of 32 but both are edging close to something big.

Patrik Andersson is a former Bayern München, Barcelona and Borussia Mönchengladbach defender. He won 96 caps for Sweden, reaching the semi-finals of EURO '92 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and was part of the Bayern side that won the UEFA Champions League in 2001 – he made the UEFA.com user's Team of the Year that year.

He retired in 2005 and now lives in Stockholm, venue for this season's UEFA Europa League final. He is serving as ambassador for the showpiece and is this campaign's FedEx Performance Zone ambassador.