MX23RW : Tuesday, December 1 00:59:38| >> :120:4410:4410:

Champions League Team of the Week - Lionel Messi, David de Gea, Fabinho

Sports Mole selects its Champions League team of the week for matchday one, including Lionel Messi, Fabinho and three Manchester United players.

The Champions League group stage returned this week as 32 teams began their quest for the biggest prize in club football.

Manchester United picked up another memorable victory away to Paris Saint-Germain, while wins for Manchester City and Liverpool, as well as a draw for Chelsea, made it a positive start for Premier League clubs in Europe.

Thirteen-time champions Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat at home to a coronavirus-ravaged Shakhtar Donetsk side, while reigning champions Bayern Munich picked up where they left off with a 4-0 thrashing of Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona were four-goal winners at home to Ferencvaros, while free-scoring Atalanta BC were also among the big victors with a 4-0 triumph at FC Midtjylland.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Champions League team of the week for matchday one.


Manchester United fans may have been fearing the worst as they came up against last season's runners-up PSG with a depleted defence, but the selection of three of their defenders in this XI speaks volumes as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and co were kept quiet.

On the rare occasion PSG did get through, they found David de Gea in inspired form as he pulled off a string of fine saves, only being beaten by an Anthony Martial own goal.

In front of him, United may have unwittingly unearthed an answer to their domestic defensive difficulties in Axel Tuanzebe, who starred on his first appearance in 10 months to make light of Harry Maguire's absence.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka completes the Man United trio courtesy of another sturdy defensive display, standing up well against the considerable test posed by the likes of Neymar and Mbappe in one-on-one situations.

Tuanzebe was not the only player to shine in the absence of a first-choice centre-back as Fabinho put in an assured display for Liverpool in their win over Ajax, a clean sheet in Amsterdam doing plenty to reassure fans that there can still be success without the injured Virgil van Dijk.

Atalanta are used to making headlines for their attacking display, but despite scoring four goals in Denmark it is centre-back Cristian Romero who is their only representative in this team, having added an assist to his clean sheet.

Juventus' Danilo deserves an honourable mention at left wing-back, but it was impossible to look past Angelino, who continued his purple patch in front of goal with a brace in RB Leipzig's 2-0 win over Istanbul Basaksehir, the first a particularly classy turn and finish in the area.

Anchoring the midfield in this team is Bayern stalwart Joshua Kimmich, who produced an exquisite assist for the opening goal to set Bayern on their way to such an impressive victory over Atletico.

Kingsley Coman was the man to finish off that assist, scoring the first goal of Bayern's defence having fired them to the trophy in last season's final, and he then set up the second before capping off the scoring himself in a superb individual display.

Fellow Bayern players Corentin Tolisso and Leon Goretzka also deserve mentions having both scored impressive goals, while Alejandro Gomez and Zlatko Junuzovic were also in contention for a midfield place.

The main competition came up front, though, where the likes of Duvan Zapata, Christopher Nkunku, Ansu Fati, Manor Solomon, Ciro Immobile, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford all deserve recognition.

Shakhtar may feel hard done by at only having one representative after their famous win at Real Madrid, but there was no doubting Tete's place after he scored one, created another and could have had more in the first-half blitz of Zinedine Zidane's side.

Five-star Barcelona also only have one selection in this XI, although that one was far more predictable as Lionel Messi became the first player in Champions League history to score in 16 successive seasons. The Argentine won and scored a penalty to get Barca up and running, before assisting the final goal too.

Juventus were underwhelming for long spells against Dynamo Kiev, but ultimately it was the presence of Alvaro Morata which proved to be the difference as his two goals fired the Italian champions to victory in Ukraine.

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on October 17, 2020
Read Next:
Wednesday's Champions League predictions including Ajax vs. Liverpool
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Champions League
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Belgian Pro League
NIFL Premiership
Welsh Premier League
Segunda Division
Ligue 2
Eerste Divisie
Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Argentine Primera Division
Liga MX
AFC Champions League
J1 League
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs106312191221
4Leicester CityLeicester106041914518
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham105231711617
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves105231111017
9Manchester UnitedMan Utd95131616016
10Aston Villa95042013715
11Manchester CityMan City94321511415
12Leeds UnitedLeeds104241517-214
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle104241215-314
15Crystal Palace104151215-313
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton102441416-210
18West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom10136718-116
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd10019416-121

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!