The first week of Champions League is in the books. Who were the 10 best performers of the opening round of fixtures?
Joshua Kimmich - Bayern Munich
What can’t this kid do? He can seemingly play all over the pitch, and now he’s added goals to his repertoire as well. Kimmich scored his first goal for Germany over the international break, then went and grabbed his first for Bayern in Bundesliga. Munich hosted Rostov, so of course, Kimmich helped himself to a brace to open his UCL account. The boy's a bit special.
Neymar Jr. - Barcelona
Three assists and one goal for the singing Brazilian in Barcelona’s opener. He’s scoring goals, laying them on, but most importantly, he’s embarrassing defenders left and right. And that’s what it’s all about. Making people look bad.
Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez was the lone outfield bright spark for Arsenal on a miserable night that could’ve (and should’ve) ended worse for the Gooners against Paris Saint-Germain. Despite being isolated for most of the game, he was as energetic as ever, and got the all-important goal to save a point.
Anderson Talisca - Besiktas
The fates conspired to put Anderson Talisca and Besiktas in the same group as the club that told him to get lost despite his 20 goals over the last two seasons. Payback is a fickle mistress, and Talisca doesn’t forget. His perfect free kick netted a last-minute equalizer against Benfica and made for the perfect storyline.
Luis Suarez - Barcelona
Luis Suarez CANNOT stop scoring. He’s got a ridiculous 88 goals in 100 appearances for Barcelona, and there are absolutely no signs in sight that this is going to slow down anytime soon. He scored two against Celtic, and he looks like he wants to score more than many of us want to breathe.
Arkadiusz Milik - Napoli
Arkadiusz Milik has the unenviable task of trying to fill the boots of Gonzalo Higuain, who only scored 38 goals for Napoli last year. Four goals in his first four games isn’t a bad way to start though, and his brace for Napoli on their Champions League opener will go a long way toward making him a fan favorite in the south of Italy.
David Ospina - Arsenal
Ospina was a curious choice over Petr Cech against PSG, but his performance wasn’t strange in the slightest. He saved Arsenal over and over with his lightning-quick reflexes, and saved Arsene Wenger’s blushes for selecting him over the big Czech.
Sergio Aguero - Manchester City
He’s got nine goals in five games for City this year, and a hat trick in his opening Champions League match. When this guy is healthy, can he legitimately be stopped? Here’s hoping he stays off the treatment table and we get to find out this year.
Riyad Mahrez - Leicester City
Leicester City are undefeated in their Champions League history. A big part of that? Mr. Mahrez. He resisted the call of the wild to stay and sign a new contract with Lie Chester, and he’s celebrated his European debut with a brace. That’s the way to cement yourself in local folklore.
Lionel Messi - Barcelona
King Leo rode his royal steed (read: big ole dog) into the Nou Camp and strolled out with a hat trick. He's nearly impossible to contain on a bad day, but when he's like this, there's absolutely no chance. Celtic were on a high after their big Rangers victory, but Messi and co. made sure none of those good feelings remained at the final whistle.
WORST OF THE WEEK: Edinson Cavani - Paris Saint-Germain
Edinson Cavani should’ve won the match for Paris Saint-Germain against Arsenal. He got himself on the scoresheet after just 42 seconds, but then spent 90 minutes spurning every single chance Arsenal so nicely offered him. He probably should’ve had four or five on the day, and there were some MISERABLE misses in that bunch. In Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s absence, he’s PSG’s main man and he has to step it up. For that reason, he’s this week’s shame inclusion.