Champions League Team Of The Week – Matchday 1
The Champions League is finally upon us and it could not have kicked off in a better manner. A lot of goals were scored, and all of the usual suspects had their names on the score sheet. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both netted a brace, while Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United also scored. There were no big upsets, except maybe Sevilla’s 2-2 draw against Liverpool and Tottenham’s 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.
With all the matches of the matchday 1 now completed, let’s take a look at who made it to the Team Of The Week:
Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker (Roma)
Roma’s Alisson was pivotal in denying Atletico Madrid three points when the two teams faced each other at the Stadio Olimpico. The Brazilian showed exceptional guile in denying the likes of Saul Nigez, Angel Correa and Luciano Vietto, and made a strong case for himself to be included in the World Cup team next year.
Right-back: Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
The acquisition of Walker maybe one of the smartest moves Pep Guardiola has ever made, as the former Tottenham man marshalled the right wing with ease during their 4-0 win against Feyenoord. The English international also set up Sergio Aguero’s goal with a brilliant cross, which further highlighted his attacking abilities.
Centre-backs: Vasili Berezutski (CSKA Moscow) and John Stones (Manchester City)
Vasili was instrumental in CSKA Moscow’s surprise win at Benfica, as he helped his team ward off most of the attacking threat the Portuguese team could muster. Stones, on the other hand, showed his abilities mostly on the other side of the pitch where his brace helped his team notch a fine victory away from home. He was rarely tested in his own half, but whenever he was, he came out with flying colours.
Left-back: Layvin Kurzawa (Paris Saint-Germain)
Kurwaza was romping down the left flank for PSG, as they marched to a 5-0 win against Celtic at Scotland. He delivered the cross from which Edinson Cavani produced that neck-twisting header. He was exceptional in his position.
Central Midfield: Cenk Tosun (Besiktas) and Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain)
Tosun and Rabiot were integral in their sides completely dominating their respective games. The former also managed to score a 25-yard screamer which handed his side an all-important second goal while the latter was easily the best player on the pitch, despite having the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe alongside him.
Right Wing: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Messi was at his ethereal best against Juventus as he laid the trolls to rest by scoring a brace against Gianluigi Buffon and also setting up Ivan Rakitic’s goal. He controlled the show for Barcelona, as he repeatedly changed his positions and dropped deep to orchestrate the play, leaving his markers dazed and lost.
Attacking Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
De Bruyne is the sort of player around whom you can build a team, and Pep Guardiola acknowledges that. At De Kuip, the Belgian covered every blade of grass and completely bossed the Feyenoord defence. His performances will go a long way in determining just how far Manchester City go in the Champions League this year.
Left Wing: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
Neymar may have lost the trust of the Barcelona faithful, but he has quickly gained the adulation of the PSG supporters. His combination with Cavani and Mbappe already looks like a winning formula, and that was justified when all of them got on the score sheet at the Celtic Park.
Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
It’s September and Harry Kane is back to his best one again: his two goals against Dortmund helped his side end the Wembley jinx and slot into a comfortable position ahead of their next round of games. His movement and finishing was top-notch, and he is an English legend in the making.