Champions League: Ronaldo and Lewandowski make our team of the week

Cristiano Ronaldo bails out Man United again, Robert Lewandowski’s hat-trick strengthened his Ballon d’Or claims while Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid make history… but who else make our Champions League team of the week?

  • Matchday four was brimmed with goals keeping us on the edge of our seats
  • Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Ajax all sailed through to the last-16
  • Man United salvaged a point thanks to another late Cristiano Ronaldo goal  
  • While rivals Manchester City came out on top with a 4-1 win over Club Brugge 
  • Striker Karim Benzema scored Real Madrid’s 1,000th Champions League goal

It was another entertaining week in the Champions League as matchday four offered up a flood of goals with Robert Lewandowski netting a hat-trick and Cristiano Ronaldo bailing out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again. 

Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Ajax all sailed through to the last-16 with two games left to play, while PSG only walked away with a point after a late RB Leipzig equaliser. 

Not for the first time, Ronaldo rescued Manchester United with a clutch stoppage-time equaliser to break Atalanta hearts. Who else?

Cristiano Ronaldo salvaged a draw for Manchester United with a stoppage-time equaliser

Meanwhile, Karim Benzema made history as he scored Real Madrid’s 1,000th Champions League goal. 

But which players excelled enough to earn a spot in Sportsmail’s Champions League team of the week?

Here, we take a look at our picks from week four.

The Swede may not have kept a clean sheet but he pulled off some – if not slightly unconvincing – saves to keep the score down to just 1-0 against Chelsea. 

He denied a wave of chances from Cesar Azpilicueta, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Andreas Christensen in the first-half and the Blues were forced to squeeze their way past the keeper to steal all three points. 

Dahlin was eventually broken down as a revived Callum Hudson-Odoi provided a sublime cross for Ziyech to find the goal in the second-half but did well to hang on that long.

Johan Dahlin (right) blocks Christian Pulisic’s strike during their Champions League clash

DEFENDERS 

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (LIVERPOOL)

The right-back dazzled under the Anfield lights as Liverpool put bad memories to bed against Atletico Madrid. 

Alexander-Arnold dished up both assists for Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane to fire the Reds to a 2-0 victory against Diego Simeone’s side. 

Tireless as ever, by the final whistle the England international had completed 103 passes with five tackles and interceptions. 

It was a peak performance from Jurgen Klopp’s revolutionary full-back who continuously darted up and down the wings and contributed to a relatively routine win for the Reds to see them safely progress to the last-16.  

Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) set up both Liverpool goals, including one for Diogo Jota (right)

RAUL ALBIOL (VILLAREAL)

Young Boys looked more dangerous than in the reverse fixture which Villarreal won 4-1. 

The visitors continuously looked to threaten on the break this time round and Albiol was key at keeping them at bay. 

The defender headed a long-range Fabian Rieder lob off the line to keep the score at 1-0 in the second-half. 

MARQUINHOS (PSG)

For the first 15 minutes of the Group A clash, PSG looked sixes and sevens at the back but the captain swiftly sorted his side out.

The Brazilian made a series of vital saving interceptions thanks to his impeccable reading of the game. 

The defender also made a decisive pass to set up Gini Wijnaldum for the Dutchman’s brace. 

Marquinhos (right) made a series of vital saving interceptions with his reading of the game

JOAO CANCELO (MANCHESTER CITY)

Joao Cancelo continued his red hot start to the 2021-22 campaign in the Champions League this week.

A hat-trick of assists from the Portugal international fired Manchester City to a comfortable 4-1 win which sees them leapfrog PSG to sit top of Group A.

With pinpoint delivery, the left-back found Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus to set the trio up with straight-forward finishes as Pep Guardiola’s side ran away with the match.

Cancelo was easily City’s best attacking threat on Wednesday and could have added a goal to his assists if not for hitting the post. 

The 27-year-old now has five goal involvements in four games in the Champions League this season.

Joao Cancelo (centre) continued his red hot start to the season with a hat-trick of assists

MIDFIELDERS

PAULO DYBALA (JUVENTUS)

A double from the Argentinian striker steered Juventus to a 4-2 win over Zenit St Petersburg and the knockout stages. 

Dybala was once again the main protagonist at the Allianz Stadium as he put in a captain’s performance to provide the result Juventus desperately needed after their dismal form in Serie A. 

The Argentine was clinical on his 50th appearance in the Champions League as Juve raced into a deserved early lead through Dybala, who hammered the ball into the roof of the net in the 11th minute.

Dybala seemingly wasted a penalty, dragging it wide but fortune favoured the Juve captain when the referee ordered it to be retaken – and this time he didn’t miss. 

Paulo Dybala (right) caused the Russian side plenty of problems and was a constant threat

GINI WIJNALDUM (PSG)

For all the attacking power PSG boast, their two goals against RB Leipzig came from the engine room – namely Gini Wijnaldum. 

The Dutchman’s brace put the French side in control after going down 1-0 from former PSG striker Christopher Nkunku’s header until a last gasp equaliser.

The midfielder has struggled in his start to life at the Parc des Princes but finally bagged his first goal for the French side.

It was a confident display from Wijnaldum and his attacking prowess will have issued a reminder of his quality to the PSG boss.

Gini Wijnaldum (centre) celebrates scoring his first goal for PSG since joining in summer

MARCELO BROZOVIC (INTER MILAN)

Brozovic opened the scoring for Inter with a brilliant 54th-minute fake and shot into the corner.

The clever shimmy and tidy finish from the edge of the box broke the Croatian’s Champions League duck and set Inter on their way to a 3-1 victory.

Brozovic also notched an assist for Alexis Sanchez who scored just 30 seconds after coming on. 

His overall performance, which saw him keep the play ticking and dictate the tempo, deservedly earned him Man of the Match. 

Marcelo Brozovic’s performance deservedly earned him the Man of the Match award

FORWARDS

KARIM BENZEMA (REAL MADRID)

The Frenchman proved his worth once again as his historic brace rescued a 2-1 win to take Real Madrid one step closer to the last-16. 

Benzema’s first goal, an easy tap-in in the first half, was Real’s 1,000th European Cup and Champions League goal. 

The forward and Vinicius Jr. combined again in the second-half for the Real winner just after the hour mark as the France international found the net.

Karim Benzema made history as his first goal was Real Madrid’s 1,000th in the competition 

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI (BAYERN MUNICH)

Lewandowski netted his second hat-trick of the season on his 100th Champions League appearance, taking him to 81 career goals in the competition. 

While the Pole also missed a penalty to take his tally to four, he notched an assist for Serge Gnabry to fire Bayern to a 2-0 lead in the first-half. 

Lewandowski’s sensational display, which earned him praise as ‘the best striker in the world’ from Julian Nagelsmann, saw him leapfrog Lionel Messi as the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or.

Robert Lewandowski (left) was once again Bayern’s main man as he bagged a hat-trick 

CRISTIANO RONALDO (MANCHESTER UNITED)

Another clutch goal from Ronaldo – no one is surprised at this point. 

The Portugal international bailed out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again as he rescued a point at Atalanta on Tuesday. 

The iconic No 7 had already scored in the first-half but salvaged a draw with an instinctive first-time volley from outside the penalty box to break the Italians’ hearts in stoppage time. 

The 91st-minute strike takes his tally to five goals in four matches in the Champions League this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 91st-minute strike takes his tally to five goals in four matches this term




Share this article


Source: Read Full Article