Champions League - TOTW: Bayern's Super Mario

Thu, 04 Nov 09:53:00 2010

This round of Champions League fixtures was a mirror of the last one, but everyone has had enough of Gareth Bale so Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez is our player of the week with his back-from-the-dead hat-trick against Cluj.

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GK - Nikolay Mihaylov – FC Twente

He failed to make the grade at Liverpool but the FC Twente keeper has been a revelation in the Netherlands, keeping goal as Twente came second then won the league. He was inspired in the shock 2-0 win at Werder Bremen, Twente’s first three points in the Champions League proper.

RB - Philipp Lahm – Bayern Munich

The Germany captain was involved in two of Bayern’s goals in the 4-0 win at Cluj, with a low cross and a header to assist hat-trick hero Mario Gomez. After Maicon was so ruthlessly exposed, he can lay claim to being best the right-back around (even if he does prefer to play on the left).

CB - Dmitro Chygrynskyy – Shakhtar Donetsk

A failure at Barcelona he is back to his best in his homeland. Was a rock at the back against Arsenal and his run created the havoc that led to the opening goal.

CB - Branislav Ivanovic – Chelsea

Initially looked like a bit-part player when he moved to England but the Serb is equally comfortable in the middle or on the right, is equally good at both and scored twice in the 4-1 win over Spartak Moscow. One of the best in the business now.

LB - Fabio Coentrao – Benfica

Amid all the hype about Bale, there is another young left-sided player making waves around Europe. Like Bale, the Portuguese is comfortable at left back and on the wing and he bagged a superb brace in the 4-3 win over Lyon.

RM - Bryan Ruiz – FC Twente

The trickery and imagination of Ruiz posed a constant threat to the Bremen defence, and he capped a fine performance by laying on the second goal for Luuk de Jong.

CM - Juan Mata – Valencia

Pulled the strings for the home team and set-up the second of the night against Rangers. The Spain international is Los Ches' star player now that the two Davids - Villa and Silva - are gone and he is rising to the challenge.

CM- Paul ScholesManchester United

The ginger wizard shows no sign of losing it as he enters an Indian summer, as while his physique may be on the wane his wonderful touch and vision suits the slower, less robust European game. Marvellous against Bursaspor, with a wonderful assist for Bebe’s goal.

LM - Gareth Bale – Tottenham

What is there to say that has not already been said about the Welshman? He tormented Maicon, created two goals and would have got a handful of assists had his team-mates been as good at finishing as he is at everything else. Terrifying.

FW - Roberto Soldado – Valencia

He threatened to sink into obscurity at Real Madrid but was reborn at Getafe and is now the main man at Valencia, charged with replacing David Villa. He hasn’t done too badly either, and netted twice against Rangers, first with an opportunistic finish and then after a sweet one-two with Juan Manuel Mata.

FW - Mario Gomez – Bayern Munich

His time at Bayern seemed up but, after Ivica Olic was ruled out for six months, the Germany striker responded with a goal against Freiburg and a superb hat-trick in Romania. Back to his Stuttgart-era best.


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