FIFA NEWS: The 5 Stars From UEFA Champions League Matchday 42022/10/17 Play Now Earn Bonus
It was a pivotal week of action in Europe’s elite club football competition.
Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and Tottenham were among the clubs who took a significant step toward the knockout rounds, while the futures of giants such as Juventus and Barcelona lie very much in the balance.
Read on for more about the stars from Matchday 4.
FIFA NEWS: The 5 best players from UEFA Champions League Matchday 4
In this FIFA News article, Halowin Bet picks out five of the best individual performances from Matchday 4, featuring some familiar — and less familiar &mdash names.
Omer Atzili (Maccabi Haifa) v Juventus
Maccabi Haifa caused arguably the biggest upset of the UEFA Champions League so far by beating Italian giants Juventus 2-0 in a raucous atmosphere at the Sammy Ofer Stadium.
The hero was undoubtedly the home favorite, Israeli winger Omer Atzili, who sent the crowd wild by scoring twice in the first half. His first was something of a freak goal; just seven minutes in, Pierre Cornud's cross bounced off his back and crept over the line.
His second was an altogether classier finish, as he fired a shot into the top corner after a bright run and assist by team-mate Frantzdy Pierrot.
Atzili may not be a household name in European football, but you can guarantee they’ll be singing in his name in Haifa for years to come. This was his club's first UEFA Champions League group-stage win since a 3-0 triumph over Manchester United way back in October 2002.
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham) v Eintracht Frankfurt
Tottenham’s UEFA Champions League destiny is in their own hands after seeing out a topsy-turvy (and nervy) 3-2 win over Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
Once again, Antonio Conte’s side relied on the forward partnership of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, now statistically the most lethal pairing in Premier League history.
Kane assisted Son's equalizer after the visitors had taken an early lead before the England captain put Spurs ahead from the penalty spot.
Korea skipper Son went on to score an incredible thumping volley before half-time — one of the goals of the tournament so far — and despite Kane missing another penalty late on, both players were otherwise unstoppable at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Son’s two goals — his second especially — earn him our star performer award. One more Group Stage win would see his side virtually assured of qualification.
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) v Internazionale
Barcelona’s 3-3 draw with Inter Milan at Camp Nou was a bona fide UEFA Champions League thriller.
Having lost at the San Siro last week, the home side went into the game knowing that they needed a victory to maintain hopes of making it to the knockout stages, as group rivals who finish on the same points are split by their head-to-head record.
And Xavi's men got off to a good start, taking the lead just before the break when Ousmane Dembele tapped in from close range.
But the atmosphere soured shortly into the second half when Nicolo Barella lashed the ball into the roof of the net to equalize for Inter. Then, to pile on the misery, Lautaro Martinez's low effort hit both posts before going over the line.
Then things got crazy. On 82 minutes, Robert Lewandowski was in the right place at the right time to squeeze the ball past Inter keeper Onana.
But the visitors were far from done. Seven minutes later, Robin Gosens lashed home to send the Inter supporters into ecstasy.
Two minutes into stoppage time, Lewandowski showed why he's long since been considered one of the world's best strikers by jumping highest to meet Eric Garcia's cross and heading past Onana. There was still time for a flurry or late chances — Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen pulled off some good saves to keep the scoreline level.
But the draw — and Lewandowski’s heroics — wasn’t quite enough. The Catalans are on the brink of a group-stage exit for the second successive season.
Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich) v Viktoria Plzen
Two-goal hero Leon Goretzka was the star of the show as Bayern Munich swept Viktoria Plzen aside 4-2, booking the German club’s place in the last 16 of the competition with two games to spare.
The midfielder &mdash who’ll no doubt play a key role in Germany’s World Cup bid this winter — provided an assist for Sadio Mane's opener on 10 minutes. Not long after the unmarked Thomas Muller doubled the visitors' lead.
Goretzka then scored a brace to round off the scoring for Bayern, although Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment gave the home fans something to cheer with goals in the second half. Expect the German champions to go deep into this season’s tournament.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) v Rangers
Liverpool and Mo Salah have 't had the greatest start to the season by their own very high standards — they’ve won just two of their opening eight Premier League games. But the Reds' 7-1 triumph at Rangers will give manager Jurgen Klopp hope that his side is about to turn the corner— and the Egyptian striker was instrumental in their thumping victory.
In fact, Salah scored the fastest-ever UEFA Champions League hat-trick after coming on as a second-half substitute, netting three goals in an incredible six minutes. Looking at the final score, it’s hard to imagine that the game was ever a close-run thing, but Rangers held their own in the first half; the score going into the break was 1-1 — Roberto Firmino equalized for Liverpool after Scott Arfield had given the hosts the lead on 17 minutes.
But the floodgates opened when Firmino’s 55-minute strike put the Merseysiders 2-1 up. Cue goals from Darwin Nunez, Salah’s game-defining cameo, and a seventh from Harvey Elliot.
On Sunday, Klopp’s men face Premier League champions Manchester City. This victory was a well-timed morale booster.
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