Having waited for it for what felt like a World Cup-induced eternity, the Champions League returned recently, and it did not disappoint.
Real Madrid continued to be Real Madrid.
Liverpool continued to be quite bad.
Chelsea continued to struggle in front of goal.
Napoli continued to be the best thing on tv.
Here’s 90min‘s team of the first legs.
On this week’s edition of TFP, Chelsea legend Joe Cole joins Harry Symeou, Grizz Kahn, Scott Saunders and Hunter Godson to discuss all the Champions League action from midweek, as well as look ahead to this weekend’s biggest fixtures.
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GK: Gregor Kobel – An impressive seven saves and a clean sheet in the win over Chelsea, Kobel was in fantastic form in the first leg.
RB: Giovanni Di Lorenzo – One of the best full-backs in the world right now and he proved it with a wonderful finish in Napoli’s 2-0 win over Frankfurt. Napoli are too good.
CB: Dayot Upamecano – A brilliant performance to keep PSG’s superstar forwards at bay.
CB: Pierre Kalulu – Milan have been pretty bad recently but they showed up when it mattered the most at San Siro last week, with Kalulu being one of the stars of their 1-0 win over Tottenham.
LB: Nacho Fernandez – Came on for David Alaba early on at Anfield and proved his worth with a storming performance, linking up with Vinicius Junior brilliantly on the left flank.
CM: Luka Modric – How is he still this good? He’s ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous.
CM: Emre Can – The German may have put in a career-best performance at Chelsea. He utterly dominated the midfield all evening.
AM: Joao Mario – The ex-Inter man was in imperious form for Benfica, taking over the mantle as Benfica’s creator-in-chief from recently departed Enzo Fernandez in the win over Scott Parker’s Club Brugge (yeah, actual Scott Parker).
RW: Kingsley Coman – He always scores against PSG. Coman, having scored in the Champions League final a few years ago, came back to haunt his former team once again last week, scoring in the 1-0 win for Bayern.
ST: Karim Benzema – Now back fully fit, there’s no stopping Benzema once again. The Ballon d’Or winner has 10 goals in 2023 already, including a brace at Anfield. He’s very good.
LW: Vinicius Junior – Speaking of ‘very good’, Vinicius Junior is too. The Brazilian was in unstoppable form against Liverpool, bagging a brace and an assist.