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Kane stars in Team of the Week

Published on: 14 September 2017

With the first games in the group stage complete, Nick Ames picks the best Champions League XI -- with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Harry Kane among those making the cut.

Do you agree? Have your say in the comments below.


Goalkeeper: Alisson (Roma)

Roma were on the rack at home to Atletico Madrid and were bailed out on a number of occasions by Alisson, who showed exceptional positioning and reflexes to deny Saul Niguez, Lucas Vietto and Angel Correa among others. Defeat would have been extremely damaging for the Italian side and Alisson ensured they are not yet playing catch-up in an intensely competitive group.

Right-back: Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

It is no exaggeration to say the additions of Walker and Benjamin Mendy, two full-backs of wonderful pace and flair, have changed the face of City and the signing from Tottenham was irrepressible in their comfortable 4-0 win at Feyenoord. Walker set up Sergio Aguero's goal, City's second, with a pinpoint whipped cross and dominated the right flank throughout. He also snuffed out any rare Feyenoord incursions down his side on the most serene of nights.

Centre-back: Vasili Berezutski (CSKA Moscow)

CSKA's 2-1 smash-and-grab at Benfica may have been the result of the round and it came largely thanks to a superb rearguard action, marshaled by the 35-year-old Berezutski. His twin, Aleksei, was also influential at the back but Vasily played an important part in the Russian side's first goal, earning a penalty that Vitinho dispatched to equalise, and stood strong amid intense late pressure from the home team.

Centre-back: John Stones (Manchester City)

There had been severe doubts over City's defence ahead of this tournament and Feyenoord did not really provide enough of a threat to test them, but Stones did everything asked of him at the back and was influential further forward, too. If there was an element of luck about his first goal, which squeezed through the legs of defender Tonny Vilhena, his second was an unstoppable header and brought up a margin of victory nobody could say was undeserved.

John Stones scored a pair of goals in Man City's victory over Feyenoord. Steven Paston/EMPICS Sport

Left-back: Layvin Kurzawa (Paris Saint-Germain)

Kurzawa was at his buccaneering best in PSG's 5-0 win at Celtic, supplying a stream of deliveries from the left and whipping over the stunning cross from which Edinson Cavani conjured a remarkable, twisting header for the fifth goal. PSG and their left-back were at full throttle all night and the Scottish champions proved to be no match.

Central midfield: Cenk Tosun (Besiktas)

Besiktas' 3-1 win at Porto was one of matchday one's more eye-catching results. Tosun ran the show in midfield, underpinning a perfectly balanced away performance from the Turkish side and scoring their vital second goal, an unstoppable 25-yard shot that restored their lead in the 28th minute. He knitted the play together expertly after that, leaving Besiktas superbly placed even at this early stage.

Central midfield: Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain)

On this evidence, PSG will not have to fret about Blaise Matuidi's departure from their engine room. Rabiot is starting to mature at quite a rate and he was the best player on the park at Celtic -- no mean feat given the star names ahead of him. The 22-year-old set an exceptional tempo, covered well when Celtic marauded forwards and ensured that the home side were never able to gain any control in the middle.

Right forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

What a stunning performance it was by Messi, who put Juventus to the sword with superb solo efforts in each half and also contributed to Ivan Rakitic's strike with a lightning scamper to the right byline. Perhaps Messi and Barca feel they have something to prove this season -- and this kind of display against the side that unceremoniously dumped them out of the 2016-17 competition was not a bad place to start.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 12: Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at Camp Nou on September 12, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Attacking midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Pep Guardiola said after De Bruyne's performance at Feyenoord that the Belgian is "one of the best players I have ever seen in my life." That is sky-high praise but De Bruyne has started the season wonderfully and was almost flawless at De Kuip, pulling the strings intelligently and energetically, his radar right on beam while he covered every blade of grass. De Bruyne keeps getting better and could be the difference between success and failure in Europe this season.

Left forward: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

If Neymar won few friends at Celtic Park for refusing to shake the hand of his marker, young Anthony Ralston, at full time then his showing prior to that had been considerably more positive. A well-taken first goal opened the floodgates and he was a constant threat alongside Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, who were both excellent too, and could even had scored a hat trick.

Centre-forward: Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Spurs' Wembley hoodoo has been put to bed and for that they can thank Kane, who produced two superb finishes on his weaker left foot to see off Borussia Dortmund in an exciting clash at Wembley. Kane scored two with his right at Everton on Saturday; he is now firmly back in the groove after his August drought and might just be able to fire Maurico Pochettino's side out of a fiendish group.



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