UEFA Champions League team of the week
Thursday, 7 May 2015
UEFA.com's team of the week is dominated by players from victorious semi-finalists FC Barcelona and Juventus with Lionel Messi and Carlos Tévez leading the way.
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GK: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München)
It all went wrong late on, yet for a while the Bayern goalkeeper held Barcelona at bay. His superb first-half stops from Luis Suárez and Daniel Alves were two of his five saves, ensuring it remained goalless at the Camp Nou until the 77th minute.
DF: Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona)
Thwarted by Neuer just before half-time, the Brazilian right-back was nevertheless at his marauding best, racing up and down the flank at speed. His tackle on Juan Bernat, and pass into Lionel Messi, set up the crucial breakthrough.
DF: Javier Mascherano (FC Barcelona)
Quietly effective at the heart of the Barcelona defence, the Argentinian put in an assured display, helping to restrict the supply line to Robert Lewandowski and successfully shackling both the Pole and Thomas Müller.
DF: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
A menace in the Madrid penalty area at set pieces, Bonucci was also a defensive colossus, making three clearances and winning two tackles as Juventus largely held Real Madrid CF in check.
DF: Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
Finished with a bandaged head and a clean shirt, his original jersey having been bathed in blood – further proof of his commitment. Completed all 57 of his attempted passes yet it was the way he threw himself into tackles and blocks that was more fundamental to Juve's victory.
MF: Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
Played the pass into Carlos Tévez that led to Juve's opening goal and proved effective at both ends of the pitch. Supported the hosts' attack where possible but never neglected his defensive duties to limit Real Madrid's threat on the counter.
MF: Arturo Vidal (Juventus)
If he carried less attacking menace than usual, having just the one effort blocked, much of the Chilean's best work came further back. Two tackles and three clearances spoke volumes for his workrate and typified Juve's defensive diligence.
MF: Ivan Rakitić (FC Barcelona)
Managed one shot on target and one shot off, yet the Croatian's real value was in breaking up Bayern's sporadic attacks. He offered plenty of danger of his own, however, his pass teeing up Messi for the second goal of the evening.
FW: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
For a long time it seemed it would not be Barça's night as chances came and went, but Messi would not be denied. Fired in a low opener on 77 minutes from Alves's pass, before turning away from Jérôme Boateng to lift a second over Neuer. Still not sated, the No10's pass sent Neymar clear for an added-time third.
FW: Carlos Tévez (Juventus)
Having his best UEFA Champions League season, Tévez created Juve's first goal as his shot was parried into Álvaro Morata's path for a tap-in and won the penalty that yielded the second, his lightning break halted by Dani Carvajal. Tévez picked himself up to slot his seventh goal of the 2014/15 campaign.
FW: Neymar (FC Barcelona)
Linked well with Messi and Suárez, yet appeared destined for a frustrating personal return with the match moving into its final seconds, blazing wildly over after cutting inside. Four minutes into added time, though, Messi's pass put him in the clear and this time the finish was nerveless.