UEFA Champions League team of the week

In just 31 seconds, Dusan Vlahovic demonstrated why Juventus chose him to replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s vacuum.

In a 1-1 draw at Villarreal on Tuesday, the Serbia striker had a perfect Champions League start, scoring a fantastic goal after his first touch of the ball. 

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy

In a pleasant evening for Chelsea, he was seldom troubled, but it’s another clean sheet for him to add to his expanding collection in this competition.

Mendy made two saves in the first half before a quieter second half as the west Londoners cruised to a 2-0 victory against Lille to establish a commanding lead into the second leg.

Right-back: Noussair Mazraoui

After another outstanding effort, Noussair Mazraoui was chosen man of the match as Ajax and Benfica drew 2-2 at The Estádio da Luz.

The Moroccan picked out Dusan Tadic at the back post for the game’s first goal, but he’ll be disappointed because an unfortunate slip contributed to Benfica’s first equalise.

Centre-back: Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva, who is 37 years old, is still one of Europe’s greatest central defenders, and he helped Chelsea to a comfortable first-leg victory over Lille.

Jonathan David had been regarded as Lille’s main attacking danger, with the Canadian scoring 15 goals in all competitions so far this season. Still, the 22-year-old received little help from a centre-back who continues to defy the passage of time at the top level.

Centre-back: Matthijs de Ligt

De Ligt was a key member of a Juventus team that drew 1-1 with Villarreal, the club’s sole recognised centre-back putting up an excellent defensive performance.

Given the presence of supplementary centre-backs Danilo and Alex Sandro alongside him, the Netherlands international dominated the competition in interceptions and won each of his duels both on the ground and in the air.

Left-back: Renan Lodi

Renan Lodi has been an underappreciated component of the ATM squad this season, but his quality was highlighted when he filled in for Yannick Carrasco against Manchester United.

During the first half, the Brazilian controlled the left flank, creating three chances and delivering the assist for Joao Felix’s goal with a fantastic cross.

Midfielder: Geoffrey Kondogbia

Manchester United’s midfield has always been regarded as a weak spot. Their shortcomings were underlined against Atletico Madrid, with the Red Devils unable to create an impact despite dominating possession.

Geoffrey Kondogbia dominated the Atletico engine room, winning four tackles, eleven ball recoveries, and both attempted take-ons.

Midfielder: N’Golo Kante

The Champions League knockout stages brought out the best in N’Golo Kante, who was in terrific form as Chelsea overcame Lille in west London.

Christian Pulisic: Forward 

Christian Pulisic made a rare start on the left flank for Chelsea, repaying Thomas Tuchel’s faith with a promising display.

The United States international grew into the match against Lille and caused difficulties for the French champions, scoring Chelsea’s second goal after collecting N’Golo Kante’s pass and firing home.

Joao Felix: Forward 

With an outstanding performance in Atletico Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United, Joao Felix reminded everyone of his class. The forward caused problems for the Red Devils all evening with his excellent movement between the lines.

Dusan Vlahovic: Forward 

Dusan Vlahovic’s ambition to play in the Champions League prompted his move to Juventus last month, and the €70 million signing has made an immediate impact in Europe.

Vlahovic set a new record for the quickest goal by a Champions League debutant when he scored after just 31 seconds against Villarreal, latching on to Danilo’s long cross and hitting an instinctive finish into the bottom corner.

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