Champions League team of the week: Messi among stars to make team

Lionel Messi is joined by ‘mini Messi’ Marcus Edwards in our Champions League team of the week… but does Manchester City striker Erling Haaland make the XI after his brilliant finish against Borussia Dortmund?

  • The second round of group stage games delivered some brilliant performances 
  • Man City and Liverpool took narrow wins while Chelsea were held to a draw 
  • Tottenham collapsed late on in their 2-0 loss to Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon
  • There were also important wins for the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid 
  • Sportsmail decides who makes the Champions League team of the week

It was another scintillating week of Champions League football which saw some mixed results for the English sides involved.

Manchester City and Liverpool both scored late winners in their respective victories over Borussia Dortmund and Ajax, Chelsea were held to a draw by RB Salzburg in Graham Potter’s first game in charge, while Tottenham suffered a humbling defeat by Sporting Lisbon.

With some starring performances across Europe this week, who makes Sportsmail’s Team of the Week? 

Liverpool returned to winning ways against Ajax after their 4-1 thumping by Napoli last week

GOALKEEPER 

Antonio Adan (Sporting Lisbon) 

Tottenham failed to score a goal for the first time this season, and a big reason for that was the man between the sticks for Sporting Lisbon as the Portuguese side took a 2-0 victory.

The 35-year-old Spaniard produced a brilliant performance making five saves during the contest, including from Emerson Royal and Harry Kane at the start of the second half as Spurs mounted serious pressure on the hosts.

Adan, a former Real Madrid youth prospect, had a real commanding presence inside his own box and that calming influence spread throughout his defence as Sporting went on to take a big victory to go top of their group with the maximum six points available to them so far. 

Antonio Adan was calming influence for Sporting Lisbon and was dominant inside his own box

DEFENDERS 

Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan)

The Dutch full-back produced a fine all-round performance as Inter Milan took a 2-0 victory away at Viktoria Plzen. 

Simeone Inzaghi’s side were made to work hard against the unfancied side from the Czech Republic, but Dumfries managed to seal the victory when he slotted home Inter’s second following a pass by Edin Dzeko.

It was just what Dumfries deserved after he constantly got forward and caused problems for the hosts, while he also completed two dribbles and won three aerial duels to help Inter at the back.  

Denzel Dumfries slotted past the Viktoria Plzen goalkeeper to double Inter Milan’s lead

Joel Matip (Liverpool) 

The Cameroonian defender’s return from injury against Ajax was much needed after Liverpool shipped in four goals last week.

He was composed at the back and brought the ball out well during the early stages of the game, while also increasingly involved in attacks as Liverpool searched for a winner.

The 31-year-old leapt highest to nod in the late winner and it was the kind of display which reminds people why he is one of Liverpool’s most consistent performers when available.

Joel Matip poses with his Man of the Match trophy after scoring a late winner against Ajax

Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich) 

Came in for Matthijs de Ligt after coming off the bench in their opening group-stage win over Inter Milan, and he paid manager Julian Nagelsmann back in a big way.

Upamecano was faultless despite the unenviable task of coming up against his former team-mate Robert Lewandowski.

At one stage he bailed Manuel Neuer out by forcing Lewandowski wide, following a poor clearance from the keeper.

He sensed danger at every opportunity and snuffed out several clear-cut chances, which proved important before Bayern Munich found their groove in the second half of their 2-0 win against Barcelona.  

Dayot Upamecano had Robert Lewandowski well under his control in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win

Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)  

One of two players to keep his place in the team from last week, with the Manchester City full back producing a wicked cross which allowed Erling Haaland to score the winner against his former team Borussia Dortmund.

The Portuguese international had a relatively quiet first half but was a menace from deep in the second and his cross with the outside of his right foot for Haaland was phenomenal.

He now has three assists in his two Champions League games so far, and he is arguably one of City’s most important players if they are finally able to break their duck and win the competition this season.  

Joao Cancelo’s superb cross was expertly finished by Erling Haaland in Man City’s 2-1 victory

MIDFIELDERS 

Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) 

Slowly becoming one of Real Madrid’s ‘go-to’ players for big moments in games after previously assisting Vinicius Jr’s winning goal against Liverpool in last season’s final.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side had to wait until the 80th minute when the Uruguayan opened the scoring with a beautiful cut and finish near the top of the box.

It was no surprise as he was the player who had the most influence for Madrid throughout the match, and he stepped up for them when they needed him, before Marco Asensio added a late second off the bench.  

Real Madrid waited 80 minutes to open the scoring when Federico Valverde found the net

Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) 

The Bayern Munich midfielder was heavily influential throughout the game, even when they were under pressure from Barcelona in the first half.

He made some important tackles alongside Marcel Sabitzer in the opening 45, before whipping in the cross for Lucas Hernandez’s opener five minutes into the second half.

The 27-year-old then proceeded to run the show in the second half, with Barcelona’s midfield struggling to get anywhere near him, while Leroy Sane added a second to seal Bayern’s fifth consecutive Champions League victory against the Spanish giants. 

Joshua Kimmich ran the show from midfield in the second half of Bayern’s win over Barcelona

Marcus Edwards (Sporting Lisbon) 

Once dubbed at Tottenham as the ‘mini Messi’ by Mauricio Pochettino, it was perhaps a wise move when Marcus Edwards stepped away from the spotlight to focus solely on his football in Portugal.

He is reaping the rewards now as he followed off a goal and assist in Sporting Lisbon’s opening 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, with a Man of the Match display in the 2-0 victory over his former side Spurs. 

Edwards almost scored what would have been an early goal of the season contender as he dribbled through the Spurs defence, played a one-two with a team-mate and just couldn’t apply the finish.

With more performances like this, it won’t be long before a team looks to bring him back to the Premier League.  

Marcus Edwards almost scored one of the goals of the season against former side Tottenham

FORWARDS 

Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)

From ‘mini Messi’ to the real Messi. The Argentine superstar is looking more like himself so far this season, with five goals and eight assists to his name in 10 games across all competitions.

Paris Saint-Germain surprisingly found themselves behind against Maccabi Haifa, but Messi levelled the score after 36 minutes – breaking a record of scoring against 39 different teams in the Champions League throughout his illustrious career.

Messi was a constant threat in the second half as the French giants looked to go ahead, and it was the 35-year-old who found Kylian Mbappe who made no mistake to tuck home.

Last season Neymar and Messi were below-par by their usual standards, but both players have started the season strongly which could be a worry for other teams in the competition.  

Lionel Messi is returning to the levels we are accustomed too after impressing again for PSG

Erling Haaland (Manchester City)  

It had been a quiet evening for the Norwegian superstar in his first match against former side Borussia Dortmund.

He was always getting into the right places to get on the end of crosses, though Dortmund’s experienced centre backs Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule were dealing with everything thrown their way.

That was until the final 10 minutes with John Stones equalising from long range, before Haaland scored the winner with a stunning acrobatic finish.

Cancelo’s cross was inch-perfect and Haaland on the stretch somehow was able to put the ball past Alexander Meyer.

Haaland just missed the team last week despite two goals from Sevilla, but his incredible finish against Dortmund means there is no way he can be left out this week.

Erling Haaland makes the team following his acrobatic winner against Borussia Dortmund

Ferran Jutgla (Club Brugge)

Rounding off the team is former Barcelona player Ferran Jutgla, who contributed to two out of four goals for Club Brugge in a hugely impressive victory over Porto.

The 23-year-old who joined the Belgian side in the summer for under £5million, opened the scoring from the penalty spot before turning provider for Kamal Sowah early into the second-half.

Jutgla was a constant menace for the Porto defence during the match, and he now has an impressive 10 goal contributions in 11 games in all competitions this season.  

Ferran Jutgla scored one and provided another in an impressive 4-0 win for Club Brugge over Porto

NOTABLE MENTIONS: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) Edin Dzeko (Inter Milan), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Bjorn Meijer (Club Brugge), Thiago (Liverpool)

There were a number of players who are unfortunate not to make the team this week.

Jude Bellingham showed great instincts to score his header in Dortmund’s defeat to Manchester City.

Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara showed why he has been missed in the middle of the park for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong had two late assists in a 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid, while Bjorn Meijer was also impressive in Club Brugge’s thrashing of Porto.

Edin Dzeko would have got in if it wasn’t for Haaland’s late finish after he bagged a goal and an assist for Inter Milan against Viktoria Plzen.  




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