The Champions League continued to dazzle in game week three, packing 62 goals, three red cards and a bucketful of drama into two evenings of stunning entertainment on the continent.
In the pick of the action, Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Juventus all battered home four or more goals en-route to claiming big group game wins, while Man Utd and PSG made headlines again for all the wrong reasons.
With the dust starting to settle, we’ve taken a look at some of the top individual performers from Tuesday and Wednesday in FST’s Champions League Team of the Week.
Check out our XI below, and remember – you can find all of our latest betting tips and match previews on our Champions League predictions page.
FST’s Champions League Team of the Week
Goalkeeper: Ruslan Neshcheret (Dynamo Kiev)
Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kiev limped across to Barcelona on Wednesday with a COVID-hit squad, and but for 18-year-old Ruslan Neshcheret, Mircea Lucescu’s makeshift team might have been on the end of an embarrassing mauling. The teenaged stand-in made a phenomenal 12 saves at the Camp Nou to keep the score to a respectable 2-1 reverse against a frustrated Barca team.
Defence: Murilo Cerqueira (Lokomotiv Moscow)
Lokomotiv were under the cosh for large swathes of their 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid in the Russian capital on Tuesday, though Brazilian defender Murilo Cerqueira was unshakeable under pressure. The 23-year-old completed an incredible 15 clearances against the La Liga big-hitters, and the centre-half won 100% of his aerial duels.
Defence: Alexandru Epureanu (İstanbul Başakşehir F.K)
Turkish newcomers İstanbul Başakşehir F.K won their first ever Champions League fixture on Wednesday at a shellshocked Manchester United’s expense, and veteran defender Alexandru Epureanu was among their star performers. The 34-year-old Moldovan made a game high nine clearances in total to repel the visitor’s attempts at finding an equalizer.
Defence: Douglas Santos (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Zenit carved out a useful point at home to Lazio on Wednesday, and Brazilian full-back Douglas Santos stood out at their most impressive combatant. The defender made five tackles, four interceptions and completed four clearances during his well-rounded display against the Biancocelesti.
Midfield: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
After a tricky start in Austria, Bayern Munich eventually found their groove to hit six goals past RB Salzburg, and the consistently influential Joshua Kimmich bagged assists for two of the Bavarians’ efforts. In total, the German international played five chance creating passes, and Salzburg found it tough to deal with the 25-year-old’s imaginative distribution.
Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Belgian supremo Kevin de Bruyne showcased his innovative passing again on Tuesday in Man City’s comfortable 3-0 win over Olympiakos at the Etihad Stadium. The 29-year-old claimed assists for two of the Citizens’ goals, and de Bruyne sliced open the Greek’s backline with five key passes overall.
Midfield: Jesus Corona (FC Porto)
Mexican magician Jesus Corona was at his creative best for Porto on Tuesday, laying on two assists for his teammates in a 3-0 victory for the Portuguese champions against Marseille. Corona’s sparkling close control allowed him to complete more dribbles (five) than any other player on the pitch, and the 27-year-old also topped the pile for key passes played (three).
Attack: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Polish hot-shot Robert Lewandowski rattled home two goals against RB Salzburg on Tuesday, in Bayern Munich’s 6-2 rout of the Austrian champions. The prolific 32-year-old also played four key passes to open up Die Roten Bullen’s rearguard, and Lewa racked up an unbeatable five attempts on goal himself during the 90 minutes.
Attack: Alassane Plea (Borussia Monchengladbach)
On an incredible evening for Gladbach, Alassane Plea had the game of his life against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine. The Bundesliga side hit six goals past their hosts in a hugely impressive showing, and Alassane Plea had a hand in four of them. The 27-year-old notched a superb hattrick himself and set up another goal for teammate Lars Stindl in a career-highlight performance.
Attack: Diogo Jota (Liverpool)
Flying forward Diogo Jota is absolutely loving life with Liverpool. The diminutive Portuguese attacker scored a sensational hattrick for the Reds in their resounding 5-0 evisceration of Atalanta on Tuesday. Jota has now bagged six goals in his last four appearances for his new employers, and looks close to permanently taking Roberto Firmino’s place in the starting XI.
Attack: Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland added more weight to his rapidly growing reputation with two more goals for Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday evening. The 20-year-old scored twice in the first half to help BVB run up a 3-0 lead against Club Brugge in Belgium, taking the striker’s recent haul up to five goals in his last four run outs.