SSC Napoli dominated our quarter-final first-leg XI, supplying four players to a team that also includes two Brazilian defenders, a super-sub and a surprise 19-year-old starter.
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GK: Mathew Ryan (Club Brugge KV)
The Australian No1 showed why he is so highly rated once again with three crucial stops in the closing stages against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Ruslan Rotan and Yevhen Konoplyanka – twice – were denied as Ryan had the final say.
DF: Danilo Silva (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
A fabulously-timed sliding challenge to dispossess Mohamed Salah was a measure of the quietly classy Brazilian's efforts at right-back. Dynamo soaked up pressure against ACF Fiorentina, with Danilo Silva's efforts epitomising their dogged – if doomed – quest to keep a clean sheet.
DF: Douglas (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk)
The Brazilian impressed at the heart of the Dnipryani defence as Myron Markevych's charges kept a clean sheet. The 24-year-old was brave, kept possession well, produced a couple of fine interceptions and was key in preventing the hosts earning a first-leg advantage.
DF: Miguel Britos (SSC Napoli)
Napoli have struggled a bit at the back in Serie A this season but in Europe they have been watertight, conceding just five in 11 games. Britos has been a key part of that, and his timely interceptions (eight in the first half alone) and careful distribution provided solid foundations for the 4-1 victory at VfL Wolfsburg.
MF: Gökhan Inler (SSC Napoli)
The Partenopei's unsung hero. Sitting in front of the back four, the 30-year-old hounded any green shirt that strayed onto his territory, the decisiveness of his tackling matched by his passing – he has completed more passes than any other player in the competition.
MF: Marek Hamšík (SSC Napoli)
The Slovakian admitted he had not expected a 4-1 win in Germany, but much of the credit must go to him and his link-up with José Callejón and Gonzalo Higuaín. Hamšík doubled his UEFA Europa League tally with two goals that both owed much to his reactions and excellent reading of the game.
MF: Denis Suárez (Sevilla FC)
The holders were up against it when the 21-year-old entered the fray at the start of the second half, but the FC Barcelona loanee got the hosts on the front foot. Some dazzling runs and a remarkable volleyed winner lit up the night.
MF: Aleksandr Ryazantsev (FC Zenit)
It may have been a first competition start of the season for the Russian international but it did not look that way. Pulling the strings in Spain, he orchestrated Zenit's counterattacking game and put them ahead with a thumping finish.
FW: Obbi Oularé (Club Brugge KV)
Surprisingly preferred ahead of Tom De Sutter, the 19-year-old made a real nuisance of himself. His brilliant through ball created the best opening of the first half. However, José Izquierdo – sent clear on goal – failed to beat Denys Boyko.
FW: Mohamed Salah (ACF Fiorentina)
He may not have had a hand in the Viola's equaliser in Kyiv, but it is the Egyptian forward who gave Dynamo the biggest headaches. Stupidly quick going forward, his original marker was taken off after just 24 minutes; a measure of his ability to dazzle and demoralise opponents.
FW: Gonzalo Higuaín (SSC Napoli)
The forward had gone seven games without a goal going into the first leg at Wolfsburg but his all-action performance set the tone for a fine win. He ended the wait early on, then set up Hamšík to make it 2-0 with a lovely through ball. In the first half in particular he was irrepressible.