European Team of the Week: Barcelona slayer, Serie A hat-trick hero and Neymar make cut

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Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both hit five to keep pace with RB Leipzig at the top, while Real Madrid took advantage of Barcelona’s slip up against Valencia to go three points clear of their La Liga rivals.

A fantastic hat-trick from Josip Ilicic capped a 7-0 win for Atalanta in Serie A and Ricardo Pereira starred for Leicester City in the Premier League.

Here, we pick out our latest European Team of the Week. Find out who made the cut:

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)

Ante Rebic made headlines having scored the only goal against Brescia, but the young goalkeeper was unquestionably the best player.

He made a series of excellent saves with those to deny Florian Aye’s header at the far post and then Dimitri Bisoli in a one-on-one standing out. He now has four clean sheets in his last five games.

RB: Ricardo Pereira (Leicteser City)

A superb attacking display from the full-back yielded a goal and an assist against West Ham. He set up Harvey Barnes for the opener before driving an effort past Darren Randolph to double Leicester’s advantage.

No one had more than his four shots during the game and he also managed three key passes. He also led the way for tackles with five.

CB: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)

The fact that he was credited with the winning goal against Watford is a source of much amusement to everyone, but Ezri Konsa. Mings – rolling on the floor when Konsa’s strike deflected off him and into the net – knew little about the goal.

However, his performance warranted some good fortune. He led the back-line with authority and was a rock at the heart of it. He drove forward with the ball too and several Villa attacks were launched by him.

CB: Nacho (Real Madrid)

There was nothing fortuitous about Nacho’s goal. The Spaniard leapt majestically and directed his header into the far corner from a Toni Kroos cross to secure all three points from Real Madrid.

Nacho was second only to the German for touches led the way for tackles (4) and interceptions (4). The versatile defender was deployed at right-back but he should have no trouble slotting in at centre-back in our XI.

LB: Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

The promising left-back didn’t directly contribute to a goal during Bayern’s 5-0 mauling of Schalke, but he was one of the best players on the pitch.

Davies showed great energy as he bombed up and down the left flank. He led the way with four key passes and only David Alaba (132) had more than his 122 touches.

CM: Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich)

Facing his former side, the midfielder produced a flawless performance. He set up Thomas Muller for Bayern’s second goal before scoring with a fantastic scissor kick in the second half.

After his initial header from a corner was blocked, he reacted superbly with an acrobatic strike. He was a constant threat against Schalke with five shots during the game.

RM: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Erling Haaland has been the talk of the town at Dortmund, but Sancho cannot be forgotten. With another goal and assist, we’ve come to expect such performances from him but it’s remarkable to think he’s still only 19.

He ran the show with three shots and five key passes while the manner in which he took his goal, rifling it into the roof of the net, spoke volumes of his confidence levels.

LM: Cristian Portu (Real Sociedad)

With two goals and an assist, Portu just about makes the cut. He set up Alexander Isak well for the opener before his brace – benefitting from a huge deflection and then stabbing home the rebound from Martin Odegaard’s strike.

His five key passes during the encounter meant he was constantly trying to unlock the defence though some of his passing and crosses let him down.

CAM: Neymar (PSG)

The Brazilian superstar paid homage to the late Kobe Bryant after he scored his second goal against Lille from the spot. His first earlier in the encounter though was a thing of beauty.

He brought a cross down just outside the area with exceptional control before exchanging passes with Marco Verratti and curling a sumptuous finish into the top corner. Brilliant.

ST: Josip Ilicic (Atalanta)

He doesn’t have pace to burn and isn’t your archetypal modern striker, but there’s a touch of genius in the way Ilicic operates and there was no denying that when he scored from the halfway line during Atalanta’s 7-0 rout of Torino.

The Slovenian’s was alert enough to take a free-kick quickly to catch the keeper off his line and his execution was perfect. It was the highlight of a stunning display from the 31-year-old who walked away with a hat-trick and the match ball.

ST: Maxi Gomez (Valencia)

Despite having a penalty saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the first half, Gomez showed great character to rally and bag a match-winning brace in the second.

His striker soon after the break fizzed in after a deflection off Jordi Alba before showing excellent composure to curl an effort around Sergi Roberto and into the far corner to seal victory.2701 european TOTW

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