UEFA Champions League Team of the Week: Matchday 1

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Europe’s top-tier competition returned with a flurry of compelling, high-scoring affairs on Matchday 1.

UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid recorded a routine victory over Cypriot minnows APOEL Nicosia, while their domestic adversaries Barcelona turned over last season’s runners-up Juventus 3-0 at the Camp Nou.

Huge victories went the way of Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City, while there were returns to European action for two of England’s most successful clubs: Manchester United and Liverpool.

Who were the standout players in the first week of UEFA Champions League action?

UEFA Champions League Team of the Week

UEFA Champions League Team of the Week

 

Goalkeeper

 

UEFA Champions League Team of the WeekAlisson – AS RomaUEFA Champions League Team of the Week

No goalkeeper made more saves than AS Roma’s Brazilian Alisson, who thwarted nine attempts from Atletico Madrid – six of which were from inside the six-yard area – to ensure a clean sheet for the Italians.

 

Defenders

 

UEFA Champions League Team of the WeekDavide Zappacosta – Chelseauefa champions league team of the week

Scored a freak goal, which he later admitted was a cross and not a shot, plus a late assist for Michy Batshuayi in a 6-0 thrashing of Azerbaijani side Qarabag FK; not a bad way to endear yourself to your new club.

uefa champions league team of the weekPepe – Besiktasuefa champions league team of the week

Battling display from the veteran hardman. The former Real Madrid centre-half won all four of his attempted tackles, four of his five aerial duals, made two interceptions and 12 clearances as Besiktas recorded an important opening day away victory against his former side, FC Porto.

uefa champions league team of the weekJohn Stones – Manchester Cityuefa champions league team of the week

An unlikely source of goals for Manchester City in their commanding 4-0 defeat of Eredivisie champions Feyenoord, and was flawless in and out of possession; the England international netted a brace, won all five of his aerial duels and connected with 131 of 134 passes.

UEFA Champions League Team of the WeekJoshua Kimmich – Bayern Munichuefa champions league team of the week

Another full-back finishing Matchday 1 with a goal and assist, Joshua Kimmich scored a goal most strikers would be proud of, deceiving the goalkeeper with a body feint before tucking the ball home into an empty net.

Midfielders

 

uefa champions league team of the weekSaul Niguez – Atletico Madriduefa champions league team of the week

Saul Niguez was one of the best performers of Matchday 1, boasting some highly impressive statistics from a 0-0 draw with AS Roma. He won all seven attempted tackles, completed five dribbles, made three key passes (one of which was to put Luciano Vietto clean through) and hit the post twice.

uefa champions league team of the weekAnderson Talisca – Besiktasuefa champions league team of the week

One of the keys to Besiktas’ 3-1 win away at FC Porto. Scored the opening goal with a bullet header from Ricardo Quaresma’s cross, laid on three key passes and put in a shift off the ball with three interceptions and two tackles.

UEFA Champions League Team of the WeekThiago – Bayern Munichthiago

Bayern Munich were far from their best despite a 3-0 win over 10-man Anderlecht, but they never looked like losing once Thiago popped up to make it 2-0. The Spaniard was sublime, winning all nine of his challenges and laying on four key passes as he dropped into a deeper midfield role.

Forwards

 

UEFA Champions League Team of the WeekNeymar – Paris Saint-GermainUEFA Champions League Team of the Week

Paris Saint-Germain made a statement as they demolished Scottish champions Celtic 5-0 on their own pitch, with Neymar largely responsible. He turned their defenders inside out with six out of seven successful dribbles, three key passes (one being an assist for Kylian Mbappe) and a neatly finished goal early on.

UEFA Champions League Team of the WeekHarry Kane – TottenhamUEFA Champions League Team of the Week

Harry Kane played a key role in all of Tottenham’s goals in a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium, netting a clinical brace and playing in Heung-Min Son for the opener.

 

UEFA Champions League Team of the WeekLionel Messi – BarcelonaUEFA Champions League Team of the Week

Lionel Messi made a quiet start to the tie against Juventus, seemingly nullified by the Italian defence before linking brilliantly with Luis Suarez ahead of the game’s opening goal. Made their defenders look like statues when he scored again in the second half, jinking inside onto his left foot and firing across a helpless Gianluigi Buffon.

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