Champions League

Champions League Top Five, Matchday Five: Lewandowski and Messi star again

The fastest four-goal haul in competition history for the Pole, while the Barca captain celebrated his 700th appearance in style.

 
9:54am on Thursday 28th November 2019
By
Martin Macdonald
Robert Lewandowski
S (C) - Bayern - 31 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
77'
10
Nov 26, 2019
77Minutes played
4Goals
9Total shots
7Final third passes
20Touches in box
2Ball recovered
19Passes
43Touches

Bayern secured top spot of Group B on Tuesday after demolishing Red Star 6-0 away from home. The Pole was once again the standout player for the Bavarians as he scored four within 14 minutes in the second half, which is a new record for the shortest amount of time taken to net four times in the history of the competition. Each goal was vintage Lewandowski, with a well-taken penalty followed by a prodded finish, a glancing header after getting in front of the goalkeeper, and finally a clinical strike into the bottom corner from 12 yards after just staying onside.

Lionel Messi
W (R), F (C) - Barcelona - 32 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
10
Nov 27, 2019
90Minutes played
1Goals
2Assists
5Total shots
35Final third passes
9Touches in box
11Dribbles
88Touches

The Argentine marked his 700th appearance for Barcelona with a goal and two assists as the Blaugrana comfortably dispatched of Dortmund with a 3-1 win at the Camp Nou. After controlling the opening third of the game, Barca took the lead after he picked out a lovely reverse pass through for Luis Suarez to score, while his own individual goal came not long after - a flashed finish across goal into the bottom corner. He assisted the third with a slid through-pass to Antoine Griezmann on a night when he completed 11 dribbles - four more than anyone else in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Karim Benzema
S (C) - Real Madrid - 31 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.6
Nov 26, 2019
2Goals
4Shots on target
40Final third passes
8Touches in box
2Dribbles
2Ball recovered
92Successfull passes %
77Touches

Benzema's supreme goalscoring form continued this week as he bagged two in Real Madrid's hugely entertaining 2-2 draw with PSG. He scored both goals on the night for the hosts, with the first coming 17 minutes in as he cleverly skewed a finish into the inside of the right post with opposition players on the line. His second made it 2-0 - before PSG rallied for a comeback - as he peeled away at the back post to bounce a header past former team-mate Keylor Navas. Only four players sent more passes into the final third than the Frenchman in Tuesday's action, while he misplaced just five passes all evening.

Magomed Ozdoev
M, DM (C) - Zenit - 27 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.1
Nov 27, 2019
90Minutes played
1Goals
1Total shots
2Crosses
19Final third passes
11Ball recovered
7Clearances
5Interceptions

There was an element of luck to Ozdoev's goal for Zenit, which proved to be the one to clinch the 2-0 win at home to Lyon, as his strike was deflected past the keeper from the edge of the box. Even though he got on the scoresheet, his effect on the match came elsewhere in the midfield area. Defensively, he made 11 ball recoveries, five interceptions, and seven clearances, while also winning 100% of his attempted tackles. Going forward, he sent 19 passes into the final third and two successful crosses into the box.

Leon Goretzka
DM, AM (C) - Bayern - 24 yrs
90'
9.1
Nov 26, 2019
90Minutes played
1Goals
4Total shots
5Interceptions
12Final third passes
7Ball recovered
50Passes
74Touches

Bayern would eventually go on to win 6-0 against Red Star, and it was Goretzka who got the goalscoring ball rolling 14 minutes in as he latched on to a Philippe Coutinho cross from the right to send an absolutely magnificent header into the top corner from a fair distance inside the box. He contributed in other areas, too, making seven ball recoveries and five interceptions. The German attempted 50 passes all game, and misplaced just four.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Another Bayern player now, and Thiago Alcantara (9) just misses out on the top five despite his commanding performance against Red Star. Only Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig attempted more passes and had more touches than the Spaniard in the Champions League this week, while he completed 107 out of 117 of those balls to team-mates.

ROUND TO FORGET

No surprise to see a Red Star player featured here. Nemanja Milunovic (4.1) wan't great against Bayern, as he made one direct error leading to a goal and needlessly gave possession away on seven occasions.

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