Champions League team of the week: Kimmich breaks record … and Arsenal

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Joshua Kimmich;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Joshua Kimmich</a>’s header against <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Arsenal;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Arsenal</a> helped break the record for the most goals (31) in a single round of Champions League quarter-finals.</span><span>Composite: Real Madrid/Getty Images; Uefa/Getty Images; AFP/Getty Images</span>

If Tuesday night’s Champions League second legs tipped one way and then the other with attacking flair, then Wednesday was a night for grit to win the day – and English football to be the loser. It also brought a restoration of the old order, with Bayern and Real Madrid to meet in the semi-finals.

Goalkeeper: Andriy Lunin, Real Madrid

Lunin had two penalty saves to deny Manchester City, even if one of them was essentially passed to him by Bernardo Silva. He is now 180 minutes away from being the goalkeeper for Real’s 15th Champions League triumph. The save from Mateo Kovacic, down low to his own right, was solid, too, but it was by no means Lunin’s full workload for the night. He made eight other in-game saves, including six from inside the Real box to deny and increasingly agitate the defending champions, carrying the flag for Ukraine into the semis in his breakthrough season.

Defender: Joshua Kimmich, Bayern Munich

A player once supposed to be the standard-bearer for club and country has in recent times rather lost his way – and popularity. But he rolled back the years against Arsenal. “Every Dick and Harry has talked about me this season,” Kimmich said after the game. Tom was right to keep quiet. Returned to right-back, Kimmich continued his outstanding recent form and snuffed out the disappointing Gabriel Martinelli, and later Leandro Trossard, as Arsenal’s attacks repeatedly broke down. Of course, his performance will be remembered for his match-winning header from Raphaël Guerreiro’s cross that decided the tie, taken with the confidence of a player back to his best. Kimmich’s goal was the 31st of this year’s quarter-finals, breaking the record for goals at this stage of the competition. Maybe scrapping the away goals rule wasn’t such a bad idea after all?

Defender: Nacho, Real Madrid

Nacho won the duel with Erling Haaland that was always likely to be key to the second leg at the Etihad. He also clattered home a shootout penalty in the style that a Real Madrid captain, a Fernando Hierro or Sergio Ramos, is expected to. Now the one-club man possibly previously most famous being a type-one diabetic, is emulating the club’s greats. Haaland’s movement in the box was curbed and he was never quite able to dominate the skies either. For that, Nacho was most responsible.

Related: City fail to deliver cutting edge as Madrid’s will to power shines through | Barney Ronay

Defender: Noussair Mazraoui, Bayern Munich

A couple of tired moments from Bukayo Saka were highlighted in the aftermath of Arsenal’s loss at the Allianz Arena. Saka, like his fellow Arsenal attackers, had ground to a halt, such was the expertise of Bayern’s defending. Thomas Tuchel will depart with his reputation for knockout planning intact. Mazraoui, the Moroccan stepping in for Alphonso Davies, cut off Saka’s supply lines and added to the frustrations of the fallen “Star Boy”. With Guerreiro doubling up to help Mazraoui, Saka was left with nowhere to turn.

Midfielder: Leon Goretzka, Bayern Munich

If the rumours are true and Julian Nagelsmann is returning to Munich this summer then Goretzka, after previously troubled relations, is likely to leave. If so, his performance against Arsenal demonstrated why he will be in huge demand elsewhere, with a dominant midfield showing that overshadowed Declan Rice, a £100m player. Like Kimmich, a player who looked to have lost his way in Bavaria may be coming good at the right time. Goretzka also hit the woodwork and, in tandem with Konrad Laimer, kept Martin Odegaard as quiet as possible.

Midfielder: Marcel Sabitzer, Borussia Dortmund

Perhaps this was the week fallen Bayern stars began to shine again. The Austrian was the powerhouse behind Dortmund overpowering – of all teams – Atlético. Driving from midfield, Sabitzer scored the final goal of Tuesday’s rout, crashing home and celebrating in a style that embodied his all-action performance. It was the type of showing that Manchester United fans never quite saw during last season’s loan spell but would love now. That Jadon Sancho also played well for Dortmund may only double such Old Trafford regrets.

Midfielder: Vitinha, PSG

A returnee from last week’s selection, and a player whose reputation is growing as PSG roll forward in the competition. Having scored and starred in the first leg, he rifled home a great, crucial goal in the defenestration of Barcelona that took place after Ronald Araújo had been dismissed. From a short corner, Vitinha aimed and fired, arrowing past Marc-André ter Stegen to put the tie in Parisian control. And as PSG ran away with the tie, it was his passing that cut Barça to ribbons.

Attacker: Ousmane Dembélé, PSG

Dembélé was the match-winner at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, a classic case of a former player haunting his former club. Although Kylian Mbappé scored two late goals, he was for once upstaged. Dembélé’s stint in Catalonia was that of someone whose injuries and form were desperately frustrating in the light of his sheer talent and price tag. On Tuesday, he showed Barça what might have been. He crashed home Bradley Barcola’s cross to level the tie, and thereafter caused merry hell down the right-hand flank. He has scored two goals in six months, both of them against Barcelona, and he left the field with a huge smile, even as the home fans jeered him off.

Related: ‘It’s why we went abroad’: Kane relishes semi-final clash with Real’s Bellingham

Attacker: Julian Brandt, Borussia Dortmund

With the fading of Marco Reus and the ritual departure of talent sold on to richer clubs, Brandt has become a leader for the club he joined in 2019. In England, he is perhaps most famous for being the player Jürgen Klopp preferred to sign over Mohamed Salah back in 2017. Perhaps not so now. Playing as a deeper-lying forward, off Niclas Füllkrug, Brandt was the architect of Atlético’s downfall and scored the opener, taking the ball down with delicacy and smashing in from a tight angle. Throughout the game, he dictated the flow and tempo (he finished with a higher share of the ball than all but Dortmund’s centre-back pairing), keeping things ticking along and dragging Atlético’s carefully choreographed defensive line out of position.

Attacker: Rodrygo, Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s coup at the Etihad came thanks to a draining second leg that finished on penalties, but it still wouldn’t have come without the skill and precision of Real’s Brazilians. Vinicius Junior, after a gossamer touch from Jude Bellingham, himself playing a sacrificial role, laid up Rodrygo to score at the second attempt. Rodrygo, a player who will soon have to compete with Mbappé and Endrick within Real’s squad, continues to be a match-winner. His sheer work rate across the frontline was another important element in disrupting City’s flow.