This week's top five Champions League performers

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

As we draw ever closer to the conclusion of the group stages of the Champions League, all eyes were on this week's fixtures to see who could secure their place in the second round.

A huge total of 53 goals have gone in around Europe over the past two evenings, many of which proved significant for teams who still had everything to play for on matchday five.

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


Man United's Antonio Valencia is congratulated by teammates Wayne Rooney after scoring the opening goal against Bayern Leverkusen during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013© AFP
1. Wayne Rooney

Despite being linked with a move away from Old Trafford during the summer, Wayne Rooney has arguably been the club's best player during this campaign, and he continued that on Wednesday evening against Bayer Leverkusen.

In Robin van Persie's absence, the striker led the line with plenty of class, and although he didn't add to his tally of eight goals for the season, he played his part in four of United's five in Germany.

After clipping the ball to the back post for Antonio Valencia to net, Rooney's free kick was turned into his own net by Emir Spahic.

The 28-year-old then provided the assist for two goals after the break as United cruised to a 5-0 success, which ensured that they secured their place in the knockout stages.


Arsenal's English midfielder Jack Wilshere scores his second goal during the UEFA Champions League group F football match between Arsenal and Olympique de Marseille at the Emirates Stadium on November 26, 2013© Getty Images
2. Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere has never been the most prolific in front of goal, but ahead of Arsenal's game with Marseille, he had already reached his previous best tally with two goals in 17 games.

However, the 21-year-old took less than a minute to improve on that record as he set the ball rolling for Arsenal to earn a 2-0 victory over their French opponents.

The midfielder advanced down the right before cutting inside the defender and curling a superb effort into the top corner of the net.

Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil helped create a second for Wilshere midway through the second half as the Gunners moved to the brink of qualification from Group F.


Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Galatasaray during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013© Getty Images
3. Gareth Bale

With Cristiano Ronaldo absent due to a thigh strain, Real Madrid's encounter with Galatasaray provided Gareth Bale with an opportunity to make his own mark at the Bernabeu.

The former Tottenham Hotspur winger wasted a glorious chance early on in Spain, and his side's task was made harder after the dismissal of defender Sergio Ramos.

However, the red card resulted in Bale taking centre stage, and a swerving 35-yard free kick put his side on the road to three points.

Galatasaray quickly equalised, but the Wales international was a constant threat as a lone striker in the second half, and he provided a frequent outlet for Real Madrid as they eased to a 4-1 win.


Juventus' Arturo Vidal scores his team's second goal via the penalty spot against Copenhagen during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013© Getty Images
4. Arturo Vidal

Juventus went into their match with Copenhagen sitting at the bottom of Group B, and without a win in four European fixtures.

However, the Serie A outfit were just a point off second place, and victory in Turin would see them overtake both their Danish opponents and Galatasaray.

Juventus managed to record a comfortable 3-1 success thanks to a hat-trick from Arturo Vidal, who took his Champions League tally to five for the season.

The Chile international netted twice from the penalty spot, before heading home his third midway through the second half, leaving Juventus requiring just a point to progress.


Man City's  Alvaro Negredo celebrates after scoring his team's third goal against Viktoria Plzen during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013© AFP
5. Alvaro Negredo

With qualification already secured, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini decided to leave striker Alvaro Negredo on the substitutes' bench for the visit of Viktoria Plzen.

City had eased past the Czech Republic side at the start of the campaign, and they were expected to make easy work of the minnows again in front of their home supporters.

However, Plzen twice equalised as they threatened to cause a major surprise at the Etihad Stadium, forcing Pellegrini to introduce the Spanish forward.

It took Negredo just three minutes to make an impact, netting from three yards to regain the advantage for his side, with City eventually sealing a 4-2 success.

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Galatasaray during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013
Read Next:
Match Analysis: Real Madrid 4-1 Galatasaray
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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