Pitchside

European Team of the Week: Arsenal’s stingy centre-backs star

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Arsenal's centre-back pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have been named the continent's best this week following Sunday's north London derby success.

Both players made Opta's European Team of the Week after helping keep Tottenham out in a 1-0 for Arsenal at White Hart Lane.

The two were in quite astonishing form. Mertesacker made a barely believable 20 clearances in 90 minutes, with Koscielny not far behind with 15.

The Frenchman also cleared one off the line and won nine duels, while Mertesacker only lost one of eight aerial duels himself.

Elsewhere in the team, it was a star-studded attack with Cristiano Ronaldo chosen with Lionel Messi, who scored a hat-trick for Barcelona, and the likes of Andres Iniesta and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

For Opta's full reasons for each player's inclusion, see the table below the team graphic...

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