Jones and Chiesa make our Champions League team of the week

Curtis Jones came of age for Liverpool in Porto, while Federico Chiesa ran Chelsea ragged… but there’s NO room for Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in our Champions League team of the week

  • Matchday two in the Champions League didn’t leave us short of entertainment
  • Sheriff Tiraspol caused a sensation by beating Real Madrid in the Bernabeu
  • Barcelona slumped to a fresh low as they were outplayed by Benfica in Lisbon
  • Juventus showed more signs of improvement as Chiesa’s goal sunk Chelsea 
  • See which players make it into our Champions League team of the week below 

It was another captivating midweek in the Champions League as matchday two offered up some heavyweight clashes, shock results and masters Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo doing their thing.

Moldovan debutants Sheriff Tiraspol rocked Real Madrid and stunned the rest of Europe by winning in the Bernabeu, while Barcelona’s troubles continued with a humbling loss to Benfica.

Messi scored a glorious goal to open his account for Paris Saint-Germain, while Ronaldo snatched last-gasp glory for Manchester United.

Moldovans Sheriff Tiraspol pulled off one of the greatest-ever Champions League shocks

But who really shone for their teams? After each Champions League matchday, Sportsmail will selects its team of the week to highlight the top performers across Europe.

Here’s our pick from the second round of group games…


Giorgos Athanasiadis (Sheriff)

Sheriff’s win over Real Madrid was arguably the greatest upset in Champions League history.

Inevitably, there had to be exceptional performances all over the field from the Moldovan side to make it happen and their Greek goalkeeper Giorgos Athanasiadis played an absolute blinder.

He made 10 saves to frustrate Real Madrid and ensure his team weren’t dead and buried by the time Sebastien Thill scored that remarkable late winner. The night of his life.

Sheriff’s keeper Giorgos Athanasiadis made 10 saves to keep Real Madrid at bay on Tuesday


Rafael Toloi (Atalanta)

With back-to-back matches against group favourites Manchester United to come, Atalanta really couldn’t afford a slip-up at home to Young Boys.

But they came up against a resolute opponent and it took them a while to make the breakthrough. That wasn’t for the want of trying with Toloi, normally a centre back, making dangerous incursions down the right flank.

His passing and crossing was on point and Toloi met all his defensive obligations as well, helping build up the pressure that led to Matteo Pessina’s winner.

Atalanta’s Rafael Toloi breaks down the wing during their important win over Young Boys

Milan Skriniar (Inter)

With Sheriff’s two wins blowing Group D wide open, Inter needed a big result away to Shakhtar Donetsk having lost their opener with Real Madrid.

They came away from Ukraine with a goalless draw and that was thanks to Milan Skriniar, whose goal-line block to deny Pedrinho a tap-in capped an assured performance.

‘I don’t even know how I got there,’ Skriniar said of his crucial intervention afterwards. Inter’s job now is to prove Sheriff can be shot down on matchdays three and four.

Milan Skriniar with his man of the match trophy after Inter’s goalless draw at Shakhtar Donetsk

Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)

Juventus appear to have recovered from their early season slump and Wednesday night’s win over Chelsea to give them command of Group H was a clear sign of progress.

Credit must go to centre back Leonardo Bonucci with the 34-year-old giving us another defensive masterclass to completely nullify the threat of Romelu Lukaku and ensure a 1-0 win.

Bonucci has won almost everything in the game but never the Champions League and opportunities are running out. Maybe Juventus can be a dark horse this season.

Leonardo Bonucci celebrates a win and clean sheet against Chelsea on Wednesday night

Douglas Santos (Zenit)

In the same group, Zenit enjoyed a very good night as they thrashed Malmo 4-0 to keep themselves in qualification contention.

The stand-out performer was their Brazilian left back Douglas Santos, who provided the assist for Claudinho to open the scoring early on then caused the Swedes all manner of problems.

His night’s work included six key passes as Zenit repeatedly ripped open Malmo’s defence.

Douglas Santos (right) impressed as Zenit St Petersburg picked up their first win in the group


Curtis Jones (Liverpool)

Liverpool were the only Premier League team to put in a decent performance on matchday two, smashing Porto 5-1, and 20-year-old Curtis Jones was exceptional.

Jones played a role in all five Liverpool goals, including supplying the assists for Mohamed Salah to make it 3-0 and Roberto Firmino to make it 4-1.

Jurgen Klopp also described his defensive contributions when necessary as ‘top class’ and Curtis enjoyed a 91 per cent passing accuracy. His display suggested he could become a regular for Klopp.

Curtis Jones, 20, produced an exceptional performance for Liverpool as they thrashed Porto

Idrissa Gueye (PSG)

Lionel Messi’s arrival stole all the headlines but it shouldn’t be overlooked that Idrissa Gueye has enjoyed a storming start to the season.

His scorching top-corner finish in Paris Saint Germain’s statement 2-0 win over Manchester City was already his fourth of the campaign.

Yet the former Everton midfielder’s contribution on the night went a long way beyond that strike and Gueye even had the audacity to say it was easy to keep City out ‘because they didn’t have a lot of pace.’

Idrissa Gueye (middle) celebrates with Lionel Messi (left) and Nuno Mendes after scoring

Sebastien Thill (Sheriff)

Sebastien Thill, the Sheriff player whose stunning goal sunk Real Madrid, has a tattoo on his leg showing him dreaming of playing in the Champions League.

But perhaps even he couldn’t have dreamt of a moment like that – his left-foot stunner downing the might of Los Blancos in the 90th minute. 

‘When you’re in that position it can go either way: you can put the ball over the stadium or you put it in the top corner,’ Thill told Goal afterwards. ‘Fortunately it went in the top corner!’

Dreams came true for Sheriff’s Sebastien Thill as he scored a screamer to beat Real Madrid 


Federico Chiesa (Juventus)

Chelsea were guilty of having their heads still in the dressing room as Juventus scored their winner just 10 seconds after the restart but it was a fine finish by Federico Chiesa.

The Italy winger now has five goals in his last five Champions League outings and his all-round performance on Wednesday night caused headaches for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Chiesa was one of the liveliest players on the pitch, using his pace to accelerate out of tight situations more than once and dropping deep to link up Juve’s play.

Federico Chiesa celebrates scoring just 10 seconds into the second half against Chelsea

Karim Adeyemi (Red Bull Salzburg)

Red Bull Salzburg have had a few talents on their hands in recent years and 19-year-old Karim Adeyemi is the latest to announce himself on the European stage.

The German has a knack for winning penalties – earning four in his last two outings – and he was fouled before dusting himself off to score in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Lille.

A second goal from the penalty spot capped a livewire performance from a player who is attracting interest from Liverpool.

Karim Adeyemi scored two penalties as Red Bull Salzburg earned a 2-1 win over Lille 

Darwin Nunez (Benfica)

It was another truly miserable evening for Ronald Koeman and Barcelona as they succumbed to a second consecutive 3-0 Champions League defeat.

If their matchday one loss to Bayern Munich was predictable, Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Benfica was just atrocious. But nothing should be taken away from the Portuguese club’s performance.

Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez rounded off a breakaway move to fire Benfica ahead in the third minute and he later converted a penalty to seal the win.

Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring the first of his two goals in Benfica’s win over Barcelona

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