UEFA Champions League: The best performers from match day 2
The European nights were back for yet another enthralling two days of action. The matches were put that were put on paper as a big-game didn’t disappoint a bit. FC Barcelona visited Wembley again after previously winning the Champions League title there. And we witnessed an amazing game between Tottenham and Barcelona which finished 4-2, in favour of the visitors.
The visit of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to Napoli was ruined with 30 seconds remaining on the clock. Lorenzo Insigne passed the ball into the net from an infuriating counter-attack which left the Liverpool defence in tatters. Liverpool to their credit revealed the talent of Joe Gomez, who played wonderfully and even made a goal-line clearance.
German Champions Bayern Munich was held to a 1-1 draw by Ajax, and they should be glad they scraped away with the point. Their miserable run of form continues. Real Madrid didn’t have any better night either.
In contrast to last season, where they looked invincible in Europe despite miserable performance in Spain, this season they are looking off colour as of late, both in Spain and in Europe. In-fact Real Madrid hasn’t scored in over 350 minutes.
On the contrary, German leaders Borussia Dortmund and Spanish dark horses Atletico Madrid both won their games, convincingly enough. The third team in the English contingent that is league leaders, Manchester City, had to fight hard to win against a spirited Hoffenheim side.
Amidst all these spectacular outcomes, some unforeseen, some overwhelmingly likely, there were certain players who looked sharp on the pitch and played a vital role in the team’s victory. Here are the top 5 performers in matchday 2.
With talismanic signing Cristiano Ronaldo missing out due to suspension, Juventus again looked to Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic to come up with the goods. While Mandzukic was good, Dybala was even better. So much better, that he scored all three of Juventus’ goals. Dybala released a total of 7 shots off his feet. His passing was around 87% successful.
Dybala’s first goal came in the 8th minute off Leonardo Bonucci’s assist which he drove into the right bottom corner of the post. Dybala found himself with the ball around the box at half-hour mark and hit the left side of the post this time. In the 47th minute, off a fast break, Dybala cracked one off the post. But Dybala did eventually hit his third goal off Cuadrado’s assist straight down the throat of the goal.
But his performance was against a team out of Europe’s Top 5 Leagues, thus he finds only an honourable mention here.
PSG made a quick work of the little known Red Star Belgrade team at home. They had a ridiculous 34 attempts at goal. They forced a total of 11 saves from keeper Borjan. Neymar was in a different zone altogether, continuing on his great run of form against Nice. He scored a hattrick, made plays, completed dribbles, dished passes and what not. He bent in two freekicks from outside the box, one to the right of the keeper and other to the left.
Neymar is expected to come up with these performances against teams outside of the top 5 leagues, without any doubt. He hit a total 9 shots at goal and converted 3. He held almost 7% of possession of the team and completed 7 dribbles. It is to be seen whether he will recreate the magic against Napoli, the next match-day.