The holy grail of European football was back this week and as usual, we had few absolute thrillers in the span of two days. Last minute winners, surprise results, Red cards, incredible hattricks — we had it all this week. With the first set of games out of the way, we look at the five top performers.
#4 Lionel Messi
If there was any doubt about Lionel Messi backing up his talk on getting the UCL back to Camp Nou, his first performance of the season has truly shown us all that the genius is set on making a mark this season in this tournament.
Starting the night with an inch-perfect free-kick, he leads Barca to a dominant 4-0 victory despite losing Samuel Umtiti to a red card late on. PSV were made to look anything but Dutch champions and Messi & co look on course for a strong group stage.
#3 James Milner
James Milner has been brilliant for Liverpool so far this season, bringing a necessary no-nonsense edge to a side full of flair and skill. Facing PSG can be a daunting task for many, but the way the veteran went about the game he made it look like a routine victory. The scoreline may suggest a closer game, but in this case, the score did not reflect the kind of dominance Liverpool enjoyed.
Much of which can be credited to Milner’s industry to read the game, win the ball back and get his team moving again without much fuss. The winning goal itself came from him winning the from Mbappe. A man for all season might be the man of the season for the Reds.
#2 Nabil Fekir
The standout upset was Lyon’s victory at Etihad which very few expected as Manchester City were being touted to glide past this group with utmost ease. The script was thrown right out the window as Fekir lead his team to a famous away win.
The player had been subject to rumours regarding a move to Liverpool all summer and if his brilliant strike, ability to beat a man and being a constant thorn in City’s side are anything to go by, he might be off to some other bigger club very soon.
#1 Paul Pogba
Yes, it was against one of the weaker sides in the tournament in Young Boys, but it was the kind of performance full of maturity which is needed and a bit more. His almost annoying penalty runup and goal were sandwiched by a brilliant left-footed strike early on and a slid ball through for Martial to get the third.
On a night where he should have dominated, he did. The kind of performance United fans will expect more often from a player who can do it more often.