Best of CL
We look at the best and worst moments from the latest round of UEFA Champions League action.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 03/11/11 3:07pm
Team of the week
Game of the week - Bayern Munich 3 Napoli 2
Five goals, one hat-trick, two red cards and 61,000 happy Germans - Bayern Munich and Napoli put on quite a show on Wednesday night. An action-packed encounter at the Allianz Arena saw the hosts prevail, preserving their unbeaten record in the process, but they found themselves clinging on towards the end. It all looked so easy for Bayern in the first half, with Mario Gomez putting them in complete control. The Germany international, who has been in prolific form this season, netted three times inside the opening 45 minutes to suggest that the Munich locals could be in for quite a treat. Napoli, though, pulled one back before half-time through Federico Fernandez and the Italians suddenly had hope. It appeared as though the tide had turned against the visitors again when Juan Camilo Zuniga was shown a second yellow card on 71 minutes, but six minutes later it was 10-a-side when Holger Badstuber was given his marching orders. With 11 minutes remaining Fernandez grabbed his second of the game to set up a rousing finish, but Napoli were unable to find an unlikely leveller, while goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis had to race back for a late last-ditch clearance.
Player of the week - Lionel Messi
Is there ever a week when Barcelona's mercurial Argentine playmaker is not the standout performer in Europe? Remarkably, given his exploits in the past, Messi continues to raise the bar and is arguably an even greater force this season than he was last - when he netted 53 goals in all competitions. He is already on to 22 for the current campaign, with a hat-trick in a 4-0 waltz for Barca past Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday taking him on to 200 for the club. Messi was once again in a league of his own in midweek, with Plzen unable to come up with any answers to the many questions he posed. He broke the deadlock in the Czech Republic from the penalty spot, swept home a second in first-half stoppage-time and collected the match ball - his second in four days - moments from the end. His efforts helped reigning European champions Barca book their place in the last 16 with two games to spare.
Goal of the week - Rodrigo
It took Benfica just four minutes to break the deadlock in their meeting with FC Basel on Wednesday, and they did so in some style. With the Swiss defence rocking early on, the Portuguese giants were swept in front by one flash of Rodrigo's left boot. The Spaniard hung back towards the far post as Benfica pushed forward, and when the ball dropped his way he hammered it into the top corner with aplomb. He could not have caught his volley any sweeter and Basel keeper Yann Sommer was left rooted to the spot as the ball fizzed past him and into the back of the net.
Miss of the week - David Luiz
It is fair to say there were a few eyebrows raised when David Luiz strode forward following the award of a penalty to Chelsea on Tuesday night. Given that Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and Raul Meireles were all on the field at the time, the decision to hand the responsibility from 12 yards to a centre-half seemed slightly odd. Luiz may be a Brazilian defender, making him more comfortable than most with a ball at his feet, but he is still a defender. It is unlikely that he will be given another opportunity from the spot any time soon, as he saw his weak first half effort saved by Genk keeper Laszlo Koteles. It proved to be a costly miss for the Blues, as they surrendered the lead handed to them by Ramires just past the hour mark. A 1-1 draw was not enough to see Andre Villas-Boas' side through and they still have work to do in Group E. A dishonourable mention must also go to Inter Milan striker Diego Milito, as the Argentine striker cannot be allowed to get away with his glaring miss against Lille. He somehow managed to fire into the stands when presented with a clear sight of goal from six yards out. Fortunately for him, he was later on target in Inter's 2-1 win.
Shot of the week - Mario Gomez
As has been already mentioned, Bayern Munich's date with Napoli had a bit of everything. One thing it did lack, though, was a wonder-goal from 80 yards. It tried its best to produce one, but Mario Gomez was denied a spectacular fourth goal late on at the Allianz Arena. With Napoli pushing hard for a dramatic equaliser, goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis was pushed forward for a corner. He was, however, forced to race back as the ball dropped to Gomez and he fired goalwards from inside his own half. De Sanctis just about had enough energy left in the tank to scurry back and hack the ambitious effort away from danger in the nick of time.
Save of the week - David de Gea
It is fair to say that the jury is still out on Manchester United's summer signing, with De Gea yet to convince everyone - including a few of those at Old Trafford - that he is the natural successor to Edwin van der Sar. The Spaniard is, however, starting to add a bit more consistency to his game and underlined in midweek just what a good shot-stopper he is. De Gea appears to struggle at times when he has too much time to think about things, and is much more comfortable when making reaction saves. He produced one such stop to deny Ionut Neagu on Wednesday, with his one-handed save after a deflection off Rio Ferdinand helping United to enter the half-time interval of their meeting with Otelul Galati one goal to the good
Moment of the week - Oliveira Jonas
Bayer Leverkusen kicked things off in their tie with Valencia on Tuesday, but found themselves behind inside 12 seconds. They worked the ball back to goalkeeper Bernd Leno, but he scuffed his attempted clearance badly and handed possession to Los Che forward Jonas. The Brazilian took one touch to steady himself, before calmly stroking the ball back past Leno and into the bottom corner. Leverkusen were able to haul themselves back into the game after half-an-hour but, unsurprisingly given how slowly they started, they ultimately ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline.