Best of CL
Skysports.com takes a look at the best and worst of this week's Champions League action.
Last Updated: 06/11/08 12:19pm
Skysports.com takes a look back at the best and worst of the action from the Champions League.
Team of the week
Player of the weekAlessandro Del Piero
Il Fenomeno Vero - "The Real Phenomenon" - proved some nicknames have genuine credence on Wednesday evening, as Real Madrid were left reeling by Alessandro Del Piero's imperious display that inspired Juventus to a 2-0 victory in the Bernabeu. The 34-year-old has been deemed surplus to requirements by the Azzurri, but his showings in Europe this season are proving true the old adage form is temporary, class is permanent. A pair of wonderfully taken goals took Del Piero's tally to four in as many Champions League games and in the process silenced the Spanish capital.
Game of the weekAnorthosis Famagusta 3 Inter Milan 3
Even the coolest of managers are not immune to feeling the heat in the dugout and in Nicosia on Tuesday night, Jose Mourinho was looking more than a little ruffled. The Special One has experienced already in his brief Inter reign that the Italian media make English hacks look like puppies with a bow and a stalemate with Anorthosis who? is unlikely to quell a growing band of critics. Had Julio Cruz not nodded a late leveller for the Nerazzurri then Mourinho could have joined such luminaries as Graham Taylor in having his head superimposed on a root vegetable. Credit though to Famagusta for another fine performance, in what is fast becoming a debut Champions League campaign to remember.
Goal of the weekScott McDonald v Man United
Celtic Park is a venue made for electric European nights and a Champions League record of eight wins from 13 games in Glasgow is testimony to a strength at home that is bettered by few, if any, on the continent. That said, there was nonetheless still a palpable air of surprise when in the 13th minute of a pulsating contest, McDonald took Gary Caldwell's nod into his path before looping the most exquisite of lobs, with the outside of his right foot, over and beyond Ben Foster. The Aussie striker is known more for the number than manner of his goals and will score few better than the one which just about kept alive Celtic's dream of progressing past the competition's group stage. Giorgos Karagounis' arrow of a strike for Panathinaikos earns an honorable mention.
Pass of the weekHatem Ben Arfa
The diminutive Marseille schemer has more than a few admirers on English shores and he did his growing reputation little harm with another effervescent performance in midweek. Ben Arfa was at the hub of much of Marseille's best work in his side's comfortable 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven at Stade Velodrome. Bakari Kone owed his opener to Ben Arfa's slide-rule pass but it was his exquisite eye-of-the-needle assist for Mamadou Niang's second goal that stole the plaudits.
Controversy of the weekLiverpool's penalty
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard remains his side's talisman both domestically and in Europe but those that accuse him of taking more dives than Jacques Cousteau will have been choking on their indignation in midweek. Atletico Madrid looked all set for a memorable away day on Merseyside when they entered stoppage time a goal to the good, only for referee Martin Hansson to take exception to a challenge between Gerrard and Mariano Pernia in Liverpool's box. After dusting himself down and tucking away the resulting penalty with typical aplomb, Gerrard - and Hansson - both had the good grace to accept they were unsure as to whether the correct call was made.
Farce of the weekDeco's dismissal
A miserable trip to the Eternal City for Chelsea ended in abject frustration when in the game's dying embers, Deco was shown the most ridiculous of red cards. The Portuguese schemer's crime? A cynical hack, a bit of verbal, professional foul? Oh no, Deco only had the temerity to try and take a free-kick quickly - a heinous offence that cost him a second yellow card in Chelsea's shock 3-1 defeat. The referee may as well booked him for being short.
Save of the weekVolkan Demirel
Fenerbahce's agile shot-stopper wins our top 'keeper gong as much for a cumulative effort than one individual save. Much of Arsenal's attacking threat in the final third was rather ponderous - blame Stoke, a congested fixture list, the weather, income tax, the credit crunch etc - but when they did pierce Fener's backline, Demirel was in inspired form. His finest moment came when Robin van Persie found himself free from no than six yards, only to see his snapshot pushed onto the bar via a fine sprawling save.