Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Who Were the Top 5 Players during Week 1 of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League?

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Week 1 of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League is now on the books. And while there were some shocking and unexpected results, now it’s time to focus on individual performances.

These were the Top 5 performers during the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League Week 1.

Mislav Oršić – Dinamo Zagreb

There is absolutely no question that Mislav Oršić was one of the biggest stars of the UEFA Champions League Week 1. The talented Dinamo Zagreb winger, who is 26 years old, netted not one and not two, but three goals against Atalanta in the opening match for both sides. Against all odds, the reigning Croatia Prva Liga champions won this game 4-0.

Oršić, who recently debuted with the Croatia national team earlier this month, has been on top form for Dinamo in the current Champions League campaign. He has six goals in seven Champions League matches – including qualifiers – and all signs point towards him remaining a core piece of Dinamo on their quest to reach a spot on the knockout stages.

Riyad Mahrez – Manchester City

Few teams in the world have the depth and talent Manchester City currently own on their attacking third. That’s why what Riyad Mahrez did against Shakhtar Donetsk on Week 1 of the UEFA Champions League should deserve some extra praise. The Algeria international contributed a goal and an assist in City’s solid win over the Ukraine giants.

While registering one goal and one assist in a single game shouldn’t be much of a deal in today’s football, it could go a long way for Mahrez in establishing himself with a bigger role at the Etihad Stadium. Especially considering he must compete with the likes of David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva for playing time – let alone a starting role. This was the best way to show Pep he can still make things happen when he receives a chance.

Timo Werner – RB Leipzig

Few strikers in the world have started the 2019/20 season as on fire as RB Leipzig star Timo Werner. The Germany international netted two goals against Benfica in the Germans’ 2-0 win over the Portuguese giants this past Tuesday. Now Werner has seven goals in all competitions during the current term.

Werner played a pivotal role on the win and showed once again why Leipzig battled so hard to extend his contract instead of selling him. If Leipzig want to become a force in Europe, they need Werner’s best version. And so far, he is showing it – both at the domestic and European level.

Angel Di Maria – PSG

If there are two teams that Angel Di Maria absolutely “hates”, these are Real Madrid and Manchester United. The former Argentina international tends to reach his peak of performance against these two sides. He showed it one more time when PSG took on Real Madrid during Week 1 of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League campaign.

The former Real Madrid and Benfica star delivered two goals against Los Merengues this past Wednesday, and it was clear he was playing with a chip on his shoulder. Knowing PSG didn’t have Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar ahead of this match, Di Maria carried the side towards a huge win. And in the process, he showed everyone associated with the Ligue 1 giants that he still has enough talent to play a role within the team going forward.

Erling Braut Håland – RB Salzburg

Braut Håland was not the only player who netted a hat-trick during Week 1 of the UEFA Champions League. However, the Norwegian youngster certainly made a name for himself and delivered quite an impact during Salzburg’s 6-2 win over Genk in the first UCL match for both sides.

If we also add to the fact that Håland is only 19 years old, and that he scored all three goals in “only” 72 minutes, then we can easily see why the match against the Belgian opponents wasn’t one Håland will forget any time soon. By all accounts, the Norway international was one of the top players in the Champions League’s first week of action.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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