World Cup: The top five defenders on Day 17 - Marcelo and Thiago Silva impress

Fifa World Cup Brazil

We select the best defensive performances from day 17 of the World Cup in Brazil, with a former Chelsea player and a Blues target featuring.

The World Cup knockout stages kicked off in dramatic fashion yesterday.

The first tie of the round saw hosts Brazil face off against Chile, resulting in a 1-1 draw that had to be settled in nail biting penalties. Luiz Felipe Scolari's men held their nerve to qualify for the quarter finals in emotional scenes.

In the second game of the day, Colombia continued their impressive form by beating Uruguay 2-0, with both goals coming from the superb James Rodriguez.

Below we list some of the days best performers in a range of key defensive areas.

Tackling

  TeamPosWon TackleTackling
Accuracy %
AppsMins
Marcelo Brazil DF 5 83.33 1 120
Eugenio Mena Chile DF 4 100.00 1 120
Mario Yepes Colombia DF 4 80.00 1 90
David Luiz Brazil DF 2 100.00 1 120
Thiago Silva Brazil DF 2 100.00 1 120

Real Madrid's Brazilian fullback Marcelo epitomised the fighting spirit of Brazil, winning 5 tackles - the most of the day. Chilean defender Eugenio Mena also impressed by winning just one less challenge, and managing to avoiding losing any.

Possession won in defensive third & distribution

  TeamPosPoss Won Def 3rdPassing
Accuracy %
AppsMins
Mauricio Isla Chile DF 7 63.83 1 120
David Luiz Brazil DF 6 72.50 1 120
Dani Alves Brazil DF 5 76.27 1 120
Gonzalo Jara Chile DF 5 85.71 1 120
Marcelo Brazil DF 5 74.24 1 120

Juventus' defender/midfielder Mauricio Isla had a strong game on the right hand side for Chile, and he won possession 7 times against the hosts - which sounds even better considering he found himself up against Neymar at times during the game.

Ground duels for possession won

  TeamPosDuel WonGround Duels
Won %
AppsMins
Marcelo Brazil DF 11 61.11 1 120
Diego Godín Uruguay DF 9 75.00 1 90
Dani Alves Brazil DF 8 61.54 1 120
Thiago Silva Brazil DF 8 61.54 1 120
Juan Zuñiga Colombia DF 8 88.89 1 90

Marcelo again was outstanding when it came to ground duels for possession, winning 11 battles. Chelsea linked defender Diego Godin was also strong against Colombia, coming in second with 9 duels won and with a better percentage of wins than Marcelo.

Clearances

  TeamPosEffective ClearanceAppsMins
Gary Medel Chile DF 12 1 108
Thiago Silva Brazil DF 11 1 120
Diego Godín Uruguay DF 8 1 90
David Luiz Brazil DF 7 1 120
Dani Alves Brazil DF 5 1 120

You could tell at the final whistle that no one cared more or tried harder for Chile than Cardiff star Gary Medel - and the stats prove that, with the 26-year-old clearing the ball to safety 12 times, one more than Brazilian skipper Thiago Silva.

Aerial battles won

  TeamPosAerial WonAerial Duels
Wons %
AppsMins
Thiago Silva Brazil DF 5 55.56 1 120
Diego Godín Uruguay DF 4 80.00 1 90
José María Giménez Uruguay DF 3 75.00 1 90
Gary Medel Chile DF 3 50.00 1 108
Pablo Armero Colombia DF 2 100.00 1 90

One area that Silva did come out on top was aerial duels, winning 5 battles, even though he lost his fair share. Godin again came just behind, though managed to win a superb 80% of his challenges.

Which defenders have impressed you so far?

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