Goal.com picks the best in show from the opening fixtures of the last-eight ties in Europe's prestigious club competitionChampions League quarter-finals produced some intriguing results as none of the home teams were able to win their opening encounter, but a number of notable and high-profile names in the game showed just why they are considered the cream of the crop.
Germany international goalkeeper Manuel Neuer makes his inaugural appearance in our Champions League Team of the Round (TOTR), keeping a clean sheet at the Stade Velodrome by denying Rod Fanni and Loic Remy, and pulling off some impressive saves as he helped Bayern Munich to a 2-0 win at Marseille.
Our back line features two Italians and two Brazilians. AC Milan's disciplined defensive unit had the rare honour of limiting Barcelona to a 0-0 stalemate and Luca Antonini, who played at both left and right-back during the course of the 90 minutes, was full of energy and made some crucial interventions, including a sliding goal-line clearance to deny Tello a late winner. His team-mate Alessandro Nesta returned from injury to put in an extremely classy display. He exhibited all his experience in stopping Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez with some magnificent challenges that perhaps are best described as art rather than tackles.
David Luiz seems to have developed a new sense of reliability and calm in defence as his blocks and flying headers denied Benfica time and again, while Marcelo's entrance was a key factor in Real Madrid's win over APOEL. His runs forward from left-back resulted in an assist and also carved out several promising opportunities.
In the centre of the pitch, Ramires' lightning-quick speed and energy caused all sorts of problems for his former team-mates at the Estadio da Luz as he got in behind the defence. At the other end, his tracking back quelled the threat of opposition winger Nicolas Gaitan.
Kaka continues his resurgence as he followed up his dynamic display against CSKA Moscow in the round of 16 with a substitute appearance that became the turning point in Madrid's 3-0 triumph in Cyprus. The playmaker came off the bench to set up one for Karim Benzema on 74 minutes before converting a tap-in himself en route to a routine victory. Meanwhile, his Barcelona rival Xavi was one of the lone bright lights in attack for the visitors at San Siro. He twice came close to opening the scoring and created some good opportunities with quick one-two passing on the edge of the area, while also holding possession in midfield in that familiar style of his.
Another man who retains his place in our best XI is Arjen Robben. The Dutch winger has been in devastating form since returning from injury, and he supplied the killer blow to Marseille in France by finishing well after a give-and-go with Thomas Muller to round off a 2-0 victory.
Moving up front, Fernando Torres showed glimpses of the form that earned him a mega-money move from Liverpool to the Blues. Despite some wasteful finishing, his show of strength and run down the channel to set up Salomon Kalou's winner was a moment of magic from the Spanish forward. Finally, Benzema struck twice for los Blancos to effectively send Jose Mourinho's side through to the semi-finals after their win at APOEL.
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