🏆 UCL Awards: Player, Team, Goal and Result of the Week | OneFootball

🏆 UCL Awards: Player, Team, Goal and Result of the Week | OneFootball

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OneFootball

Alex Mott·22 February 2024

🏆 UCL Awards: Player, Team, Goal and Result of the Week

Article image:🏆 UCL Awards: Player, Team, Goal and Result of the Week

The Champions League offered up just six goals in four games this week.

But was it a return to the bad old days? Let’s find out.


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Player of the Week

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At last, after two spells separated over nearly 15 years, Marko Arnautović has come good for Inter.

The 34-year-old returned to San Siro this summer with a sense of unfinished business.

Back in 2009/10, the Austria international was a kid with, as he would admit himself, a big ego and determination to make it at the highest level.

Unfortunately for the self-regarding striker, that was the Nerazzurri’s treble-winning year with José Mourinho not quite having the same sense of belief Arnautović as he did himself.

But after enjoying arguably his best ever season last time out with Bologna, the veteran forward was brought back last June to add some depth to their attacking output.

It’s not been all plain-sailing for Arnautović during his second coming but this week he scored against Salernitana in Serie A and then bagged the match-winner as Inter beat Atlético de Madrid.

Admittedly the former Stoke man needed three bites of the cherry, missing two gilt-edged chances earlier in the game.

But with 10 minutes of the match remaining, Arnautović struck home the hardest of the three to secure a narrow 1-0 win.


Team of the Week

Article image:🏆 UCL Awards: Player, Team, Goal and Result of the Week

Goal of the Week

Despite it being was a fairly shallow pool of potential nominees this week, Galeno’s last minute strike for Porto against Arsenal would have been a worthy winner no matter how many were scored in his quartet of games.

It was a pretty turgid affair between the Portuguese giants and their Premier League counterparts — more on that later — but the strike that broke the deadlock with just 40 seconds of the game remaining left the Estádio do Dragão in delirious amazement.

After a poor pass from Gabriel Martinelli allowed the hosts to regain the ball, Galeno cut in from the left-hand side and whipped a shot over and around David Raya before watching it nestle into the far corner.

The sight of William Saliba then dropping to his haunches with his head bowed said everything.


Result of the Week

Article image:🏆 UCL Awards: Player, Team, Goal and Result of the Week

Borussia Dortmund will feel like they got away with one on Tuesday evening.

Erin Terzić’s side travelled to PSV Eindhoven and, despite taking the lead in the first half through Donyell Malan, were lucky to come away level on aggregate.

Luuk de Jong’s second half penalty earned the unbeaten Dutch giants a draw but it really could have been so much more for them.

Chances for Sergiño Dest and Ricardo Pepi were saved well by Alex Meyer with PSV enjoying a total shot count of 14-8 on the night.

Dortmund – despite starting with a front four of Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Niklas Füllkrug and Malen – never looked fluid going forward and were it not for a deflection late in the first half, would have been goalless here.

Much to ponder then with the game on a knife-edge heading to the Westfalenstadion.


Surprise of the Week

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It’s fair to say that Napoli’s preparation for Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 clash with Barcelona was sub-optimal.

President Aurelio De Laurentiis took the ultimate gamble and sacked his second coach of the season, Walter Mazzarri, with just 48 hours to go before kick off.

In his place came a man who had never previously managed at club level before in the shape of Slovakia national team boss Francesco Calzona.

And after the first 75 minutes, at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, it looked as if that major roll of the dice was about to see the Partenopei on the scrapheap.

The Italian champions were disjointed and disorganised with Calzona himself admitting after the game that his side looked “confused”.

That confusion didn’t ultimately cost Napoli however, as against the run of play, Victor Osimhen used his strength to roll Iñigo Martínez inside the area before taking a breath and slotting it coolly past Marc-Andre tet Stegen for a 1-1 draw.


Stat of the Week

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Porto boss Sergio Conceição was bullish after his side beat Arsenal on Wednesday night.

“Arsenal came to play … we came to win,” was his retort after two remarkable statistics were revealed post-match.

There were 36 fouls committed over the 90 minutes, which was the most in any Champions League game so far this season.

And with a ball-in-play percentage of 51.7, this match saw comfortably the least amount of football of any in the competition this term. For some context, Lazio’s game with Bayern Munich last week saw a ball-in-play percentage of 66 per cent.

The return clash on March 12 is going to be absolutely fascinating.