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Champions League Team of the Week - Robert Lewandowski, Jude Bellingham, Jack Grealish

Sports Mole selects its Champions League Team of the Week, including Robert Lewandowski, Jude Bellingham and Jack Grealish.

The opening gameweek in the group stages of the 2021-22 Champions League produced some standout matches and shock results, with Manchester United on the end of arguably the most surprising defeat in the first set of fixtures.

Manchester City sit atop Group A courtesy of a 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday, while the other match in the section saw Club Brugge hold the much-fancied Paris Saint-Germain to a 1-1 draw.

In Group B, Liverpool came from behind to record a 3-2 win over AC Milan at Anfield, while Atletico Madrid and Porto played out a goalless draw.

Ajax recorded a standout 5-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in their Group C opener, while Borussia Dortmund secured a 2-1 victory over Besiktas to ensure that they would join Ajax on three points after the first gameweek.

Sheriff Tiraspol sit at the top of Group D following a 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk, while they are joined on three points by Real Madrid, who scored late to record a huge victory over Inter Milan at San Siro on Wednesday night.

Group E saw Bayern Munich run out 3-0 winners over Barcelona, while Benfica and Dynamo Kiev have a point apiece courtesy of their goalless draw.

In Group F, Man United suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Young Boys in Switzerland, while Atalanta BC and Villarreal played out a 2-2 draw, meaning that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are currently at the bottom of the section.

All four teams in Group G have a point after the first gameweek, with Red Bull Salzburg and Sevilla playing out a 1-1 draw, while Lille and Wolfsburg shared the points in a goalless draw, and the section looks to be wide open.

Finally, Chelsea started their Group H campaign with a 1-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg but sit second in the section behind Juventus, who recorded a 3-0 win over Malmo to start their challenge in style.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Champions League Team of the Week from the opening set of fixtures in the groups stages of this season's competition.


Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois in action against Inter Milan on September 15, 2021© Reuters

Real Madrid's 1-0 win away to Inter on Wednesday night went slightly under the radar, but it was an impressive defensive performance from Los Blancos, and Thibaut Courtois played a leading role. Indeed, the Belgian goalkeeper made five saves over the course of the 90 minutes, while he also boasted a pass success rate of 87%, as the 29-year-old also impressed with his distribution.

Man City's Joao Cancelo and Sheriff's Cristiano are handed spots in the full-back areas; the former was on the scoresheet during a fine performance against Leipzig, while the latter came up with two assists during his side's 2-0 victory over Shakhtar, and the 28-year-old deserves a lot of praise for his standout display.

Alex Sandro is not technically a central defender, but he had to be included in this side due to his performance in Juve's three-goal success over Malmo. The Brazilian broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute of the contest and was a constant threat down the left, so he moves inside in order to secure a spot at the back.

The final position in the back four is handed to Brugge's Stanley N'Soki, who helped his side hold PSG to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night. The 22-year-old made three tackles and boasted a pass success rate of 92% against a PSG side that started with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar as a front free, and he is fully deserving of a spot in the Champions League Team of the Week.


Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham pictured on September 15, 2021© Reuters

Christopher Nkunku scored an extraordinary hat-trick for Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night but was still on the end of a 6-3 defeat to Man City. It was impossible to ignore the 23-year-old due to his standout performance, and he certainly did not deserve to be on the losing side in Manchester.

Two England internationals also feature in midfield, with Jude Bellingham sailing into the side due to his excellent performance in Dortmund's win over Besiktas. The 18-year-old sent his side ahead in the 20th minute before turning provider for Erling Braut Haaland in first-half stoppage time. Bellingham's form for BVB has been excellent, and a number of Premier League clubs are said to be keen to bring him back to England.

Jack Grealish, meanwhile, scored his first Champions League goal on his debut in the competition against Leipzig, finding the back of the net in the 56th minute of the contest to make it 4-2. The former Aston Villa captain also provided the assist for Nathan Ake to make the breakthrough in the 16th minute, and it would be fair to say that the attacker has made an excellent impression since arriving in a £100m deal.

The final spot in midfield is awarded to Nicolas Moumi, who was on the scoresheet in Young Boys' 2-1 win over Man United. The 27-year-old's leveller came at a crucial time, but his overall performance earns him a spot in the side, with the midfielder having four shots, completing seven dribbles and winning five tackles during an all-action performance against the 20-time English champions.


Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowksi celebrates scoring against Barcelona on September 14, 2021© Reuters

Robert Lewandowski again showed his class at Camp Nou on Tuesday night, with the Poland international scoring twice in Bayern's three-goal success over Barcelona. The 33-year-old was a constant menace in the final third of the field, while he completed 21 of his 25 passes during a fine performance in Spain.

Sebastien Haller might have struggled to make his mark at West Ham United, but the 27-year-old has scored 21 goals in 29 appearances since arriving at Ajax, including eight in six outings during the 2020-21 campaign. Four of those goals came in Wednesday's 5-1 win over Sporting Lisbon, with the powerful striker unplayable in the final third, and he absolutely sails into this team.



Sports Mole's Champions League team of the week (4-4-2): Courtois; Cancelo, N'Soki, Sandro, Cristiano; Nkunku, Bellingham, Grealish, Moumi; Haller, Lewandowski

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