This week's top Champions League performers

Sports Mole selects five players that have made an impact in the Champions League this week.

With the group stage of the competition approaching the halfway point, all eyes were on this week's Champions League fixtures to see who could gain an advantage ahead of their final three fixtures.

As expected, many of the 16 results this week have changed the shape of their respective groups, with plenty of eye-catching goals and performances featuring around Europe.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at which players have made an impact over the past couple of evenings.


Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League group C football match against Anderlecht on October 23, 2013© Getty Images
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is widely known for his ability to produce the unexpected, and he created the headlines once again with a four-goal salvo against Anderlecht in Belgium.

His opening two goals were close-range efforts, but the second involved a flick into the bottom corner with his back towards goal that deceived the goalkeeper at his near post.

However, it was the reaction to his third strike that hit the back pages, with the Swede driving a thunderous shot into the top corner from 30 yards, with the speed of the attempt being registered at 72.6mph.

The former AC Milan forward netted his fourth before the final whistle as Paris Saint-Germain completed a 5-0 success that helped them put one foot in the next round of the competition.


Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and David Silva celebrate scoring against CSKA Moscow during their UEFA Champions League group D football match on October 23, 2013© Getty Images
2. Sergio Aguero

After a mixed second campaign at the Etihad Stadium, Sergio Aguero has begun this season with a new lease of life under Manuel Pellegrini.

The Argentine had netted seven goals in nine appearances before his side's match with CSKA Moscow, and a first-half double saw him take his tally to nine strikes in 10.

City fell behind in Moscow, but despite previously missing a couple of close-range chances, Aguero redeemed himself with two quickfire goals to hand his team the momentum.

He failed to complete his hat-trick after the break, but the 25-year-old had done enough to put City in pole position to finish in second position in their group.


Chelseas Spanish striker Fernando Torres celebrates during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match Schalke 04 vs FC Chelsea in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany on October 22, 2013© Getty Images
3. Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres had already shown signs this season that he was beginning to rediscover some form, but he soon suffered a knee injury against Steaua Bucuresti.

However, on his first start after his recovery, the Spanish frontman netted twice and put on a display that had the Chelsea supporters full of optimism that their £50m striker was ready to justify his price tag.

A fifth-minute header from the former Liverpool man put the Blues ahead against Schalke 04, before he was on hand to complete a superb counter-attack midway through the second half.

Despite the match being over, the work-rate of Torres continued to impress, and he has surely earned himself a starting place for the match with Manchester City at the weekend.


Atletico Madrid's Brazilian forward Diego da Silva Costa celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group G football match Austria Wien vs Atletico de Madrid in Vienna, Austria on October 22, 2013© Getty Images
4. Diego Costa

Two goals from Diego Costa helped Atletico Madrid overcome Austria Vienna and maintain their 100% record in the competition.

Since the departure of Radamel Falcao in the summer, the 25-year-old has been a revelation in Spain, netting 10 goals in nine games in La Liga.

The Brazilian-born frontman has now taken that form into Europe, with his first effort coming after a fine individual run into the penalty area.

The second came at the end of a move he started, with the finish coming from six yards, and he looks as though he will be Atletico's key man in the competition.


Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo scores a penalty during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match against Juventus on October 23, 2013© Getty Images
5. Cristiano Ronaldo

After the arrival of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo has appeared motivated to prove that he deserves to remain as the star name at the Bernabeu.

The Portuguese attacker had already netted five times in Real Madrid's first two matches, and he added a couple more against Juventus on Wednesday evening.

The first came from close range after some good approach play from Angel di Maria, and Ronaldo had to wait just 24 minutes to score his second from the penalty spot.

He was unable to score a third after half time, but his performance against the Serie A outfit has left Real Madrid needing just one more victory to secure a place in the last 16.

Atletico Madrid's Brazilian forward Diego da Silva Costa celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group G football match Austria Wien vs Atletico de Madrid in Vienna, Austria on October 22, 2013
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