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Champions League Team of the Week - Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Romelu Lukaku

Sports Mole selects its star-studded Champions League team of the week for matchday five, including Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Romelu Lukaku.

Five more teams booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League this week as the penultimate round of group games took place.

Among them was Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur as the two-time winner of the competition made a triumphant return to the European stage, although not without drama as his side were forced to come from two goals down to beat Olympiacos 4-2.

Spurs were the only English team to win this week, with Manchester City's draw against Shakhtar Donetsk still enough to see them through but both Liverpool and Chelsea made to wait having also been held to draws by Napoli and Valencia respectively.

Real Madrid will also be in the last 16 despite throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Paris Saint-Germain, who confirmed themselves as group winners, while Barcelona can also not be caught at the top of their group courtesy of their win over Borussia Dortmund.

A dramatic late two-goal comeback from RB Leipzig saw them confirm their place in the knockout rounds too, while Juventus' win over Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich's hammering of Red Star Belgrade confirmed them both as group winners.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Champions League team of the week for matchday five.



CL TOTW MD5

There were no shortage of subplots when Real Madrid welcomed PSG to the Bernabeu, and one was the return of Keylor Navas to his former club. The Costa Rican could do nothing about either of Madrid's goals and outshone Thibaut Courtois at the other end, making no fewer than 10 saves, a handful of which were particularly impressive. Without him in such form, PSG would not have been able to launch their late comeback.

Spurs also produced a memorable comeback which was completed when Serge Aurier arrowed a crisp volley into the far corner, having already assisted Tottenham's opener - albeit with a major helping hand from Yassine Meriah.

If Aurier's goal was good, Sven Bender's was even better as he ended a drought of more than two years with a volley befitting those further up the field in this star-studded XI. The Bayer Leverkusen centre-back also kept a clean sheet in the win at Lokomotiv Moscow to take his place alongside Matthijs de Ligt, who made a crucial last-ditch challenge as Juventus beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in Turin.

Benjamin Pavard, Dejan Lovren and Jose Luis Palomino all deserve mentions in the back four, but the final spot goes to Valencia's Jose Gaya, who made an important clearance off the line in the entertaining draw with Chelsea as well as contributing to an attacking performance which really should have been enough for the hosts to get all three points.

Perhaps the most unfamiliar name in this week's team is Enock Mwepu, but the Zambian laid on two assists in Red Bull Salzburg's comfortable win over Genk - a result which means that the Austrian outfit can still qualify for the last 16 if they beat holders Liverpool on matchday six.

Thiago Alcantara was in contention for the holding role, which would have made it an all-Bayern midfield. The German champions ran riot in Belgrade, with Corentin Tolisso and Leon Goretzka at the heart of everything good they did. Both got themselves on the scoresheet, while Tolisso also added an assist to see off competition from Emil Forsberg, Magomed Ozdoyev and Mateo Kovacic for a place in the team.

Robert Lewandowski was once again the main man for Bayern in that match, though, scoring four of his side's six goals to maintain his incredible form this season. Having failed to score in the Bundesliga for the first time all season at the weekend, the Pole more than made up for it and now has 27 goals in 20 games this season, including 10 in five Champions League outings.

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku is another big name in good form at the moment, and he was a menace all night against Slavia Prague. The former Manchester United striker scored one, created two more, had a goal disallowed by VAR due to a penalty being awarded at the other end and hit the woodwork on a night which saw the Italian outfit keep their last-16 hopes alive.

There was plenty of other competition for places in the forward roles; Harry Kane, Karim Benzema, and Lautaro Martinez all scored twice, Hakim Ziyech and Luis Suarez helped themselves to a goal and an assist apiece while Philippe Coutinho, Kingsley Coman, Papu Gomez, Pizzi and Hwang Hee-Chan all deserve a mention.

However, Lionel Messi could not be left out after his latest masterclass, marking his 700th Barcelona appearance with a 613th goal and two perfectly-weighted assists, as well as seeing another assist chalked off by VAR. The Argentine has now scored against 34 different teams in the Champions League, which is more than any other player.

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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool26251061154676
2Manchester CityMan City25163665293651
3Leicester CityLeicester26155654262850
4Chelsea2612594336741
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs2611784334940
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2610972824439
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd2610883829938
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2681263532336
9Everton26106103438-436
10Arsenal2671363634234
11Burnley26104123039-934
12Southampton2694133248-1631
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2687112440-1631
14Crystal Palace2679102332-930
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2669113138-727
16Bournemouth2675142640-1426
17Aston Villa2674153450-1625
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2566133043-1324
19Watford2659122440-1624
20Norwich CityNorwich2646162448-2418

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