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Champions League Team of the Week - Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah, Marco Verratti

:Headline: Champions League Team of the Week - Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah, Marco Verratti:
Sports Mole selects its Champions League Team of the Week, including Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah and Marco Verratti.
Sports Mole

The second gameweek in the group stages of the 2021-22 Champions League produced more drama and shock results, with Real Madrid involved in the biggest surprise, as the most successful team in the history of the competition suffered a 2-1 home defeat to tournament debutants Sheriff Tiraspol.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were also both on the scoresheet for Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, with the two players contributing important goals for their new teams.

PSG moved to the top of Group A courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Manchester City in Paris, while Club Brugge occupy second due to their impressive 2-1 success away to RB Leipzig.

Liverpool sit comfortably top of Group B courtesy of their 5-1 win at Porto on Tuesday, while Atletico Madrid came from behind to record a 2-1 victory over AC Milan in the same section, with Diego Simeone's side occupying second spot.

Ajax beat Besiktas 2-0 to move onto six points in Group C, meanwhile, and they are joined by Borussia Dortmund, who made it back-to-back wins in the section courtesy of a 1-0 home success over Sporting Lisbon.

Sheriff incredibly sit top of Group D with six points from two matches, having won at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, while Inter Milan, who are third in the section, played out a goalless draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

In Group E, Bayern Munich thumped Dinamo Kiev 5-0, while Benfica recorded a 3-0 success over Barcelona, who are bottom of the section without a single point, having also lost 3-0 to Bayern in their opening game in the section.

Ronaldo scored late to hand Man United a huge three points at home to Villarreal, but the Red Devils are only third in Group F, behind second-placed Young Boys, who suffered a 1-0 defeat to section leaders Atalanta BC.

In Group G, Red Bull Salzburg, who are top of the section with four points, recorded a 2-1 victory over Lille, while second-placed Sevilla played out a 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg.

Juventus made it six points from their opening two Group H fixtures courtesy of a 1-0 home success over Chelsea on Wednesday night, while Zenit St Petersburg put four unanswered goals past Malmo in Russia.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Champions League Team of the Week from the second set of fixtures in the groups stages of this season's competition.


DEFENCE

Sheriff recorded a stunning win at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, and there had to be a spot between the sticks for the away side's goalkeeper Georgios Athanasiadis, who was a key contributor to the victory. The 28-year-old made an incredible 10 saves over the course of the 90 minutes, and he is fully deserving of a position here.

Elsewhere at the back, Achraf Hakimi's performance against Man City was outstanding, with the PSG defender making it a very difficult night for Jack Grealish. The 22-year-old did not get forward too often in the second half, but he was defensively sound throughout the 90 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, there are also spots in the defence for Sheriff's Fernando Costanza and Zenit's Yaroslav Rakitskiy. The former enjoyed an impressive night against Real Madrid, with the 22-year-old making four tackles during a strong defensive performance.

Meanwhile, Rakitskiy not only excelled at the back for Zenit against Malmo but also played a leading role in an attacking sense. Indeed, the 32-year-old provided two assists for the Russian outfit, while he had a pass success rate of 86%, completing 76 of his 88 passes during a brilliant individual showing on Wednesday night.


MIDFIELD

The midfield four simply had to include both Marco Verratti and Idrissa Gueye from PSG; Man City had a lot of the ball during the Champions League clash in Paris, but Verratti and Gueye were so important for the home side when it came to keeping a clean sheet. Gueye actually made the breakthrough in the eighth minute of the match, while Verratti was a pass master, boasting a 93% success rate in terms of finding a teammate.

There were a lot of candidates for the other two spots in midfield, but Curtis Jones was always going to be included due to his excellent performance for Liverpool against Porto; the 20-year-old was the star of the show, providing two assists in his side's 5-1 success in Portugal.

Jones also completed four dribbles and had four shots during a dominant performance, and he even outperformed Mohamed Salah despite the Egypt international scoring twice during the comfortable win.

The final spot in midfield goes to Benfica's Julian Weigl, who was a key presence against Barcelona; the 26-year-old provided the assist for Darwin Nunez to make the breakthrough in the third minute, while he was a constant threat to Barcelona with the ball at his feet.


ATTACK

There was also a lot of competition for the forward positions in this side, with a number of strikers enjoying impressive gameweeks. Overall performance therefore had to be taken into account, and Robert Lewandowski was sensational in Bayern's 5-0 win over Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday night, with the Poland international scoring twice during another wonderful display in the Champions League.

As already mentioned, Mohamed Salah scored twice in Liverpool's win over Porto, and the Egypt international had to be included considering his display. Salah netted in the 18th minute and then the 60th to take the match away from Porto, and he could have had a hat-trick as he continued to threaten in the latter stages.

The final spot in the XI goes to Benfica's Darwin Nunez, who found the back of the net on two occasions against Barcelona on Wednesday night. The 22-year-old had five shots in total against the Catalan giants, and his movement in the final third caused the away team's back three all sorts of issues over the contest.


SPORTS MOLE'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TEAM OF THE WEEK

Sports Mole's Champions League team of the week (3-4-3): Athanasiadis; Hakimi, Costanza, Rakitskiy; Verratti, Gueye, Jones, Weigl; Salah, Lewandowski, Nunez


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea118212742326
2Manchester CityMan City117222261623
3Liverpool106402982122
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham106222011920
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd115241917217
6Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton114521212017
7Arsenal105231213-117
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves115151112-116
9Crystal Palace113621514115
10Tottenham HotspurSpurs10505916-715
11Everton104241616014
12Leicester CityLeicester104241517-214
13Southampton113531012-214
14Brentford113351314-112
15Aston Villa113171420-610
16Watford103161218-610
17Leeds UnitedLeeds102441017-710
18Burnley111551117-68
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle110561224-125
20Norwich CityNorwich11128526-215
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