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Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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Phil Foden and the Star Names of the Champions League last 16, week 2


Phil Foden

As City made it seven Champions League clean sheets in a row, Foden put in another typical performance that will surely put his name at the center of Gareth Southgate’s plans for the Euros in June.

The midfielder was always available to receive a pass, carried the ball brilliantly and turned slow defensive possession into fast attacking play on multiple occasions throughout the game. His assist to Gundogan summed up his night, as he received the ball on the turn in the center of the pitch, drove at the Gladbach defense at speed and weighted a perfect pass into his midfield partner, who made it 2-0.

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema made history against Atalanta, becoming only the fifth player in Champions League history to score seventy goals. The Frenchman combined his masterful skill of dropping into holes, linking the midfield with the attack and creating chances for others with his more recent role of being the main goal scoring threat in a three at the back Madrid side when in possession.

His attacking partner Vinicius Junior also had a great game, but lacked the end product needed to compliment his ability to dribble past four or five defenders at ease.

Joshua Kimmich

The tie was never in doubt after Bayern’s first leg showing in Italy, but that did not stop them from putting in another controlling and dominant performance tonight. As he so often is, Kimmich was at the heart of this win as the glue in midfield, making a game high four key passes and two interceptions.

He dictated play from deep and played a number of line breaking passes, with the pick of the bunch being the pre assist that took six Lazio players out of the game for Choupo-Moting’s goal.

Hakim Ziyech

Another very impressive defensive performance from Tuchel’s Chelsea earned them a deserved place in the quarter finals, making it just two goals conceded in thirteen games under their new manager. The three big attacking signings who have received a lot of criticism this season all linked up for the opening goal, with a quick counter that opened up an Atletico side that aren’t really used to committing a lot of men forward in attack.

A first goal at Stamford Bridge for the Moroccan and a comfortable ninety minutes for Chelsea will give Tuchel some more confidence in the attacking options he has, as they now look to a favorable run of fixtures in the league.

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