Champions League Fans’ Top 5: Wolfsburg star Henrique top

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Victorious Wolfsburg lead the Valora Futbol UCL top five.

YOU have direct influence on who appears in each Top Five so be sure to rate each weekend.

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1) BRUNO HENRIQUE (WOLFSBURG) – 7.78

Wolfsburg shocked giants Real Madrid in the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final – and new forward Henrique revelled in his first European outing for his new team.

The 25-year-old, who signed for the Bundesliga side in January from Brazilian side Goias, caused the Los Blancos backline plenty of problems with pace and trickery, setting-up Max Arnold for Wolfsburg’s second goal.

Dieter Hecking is beginning to show lots of faith in Henrique, who in recent weeks has become a permanent fixture in his side.

2) LUIS SUAREZ (BARCELONA) – 6.98

The Barcelona hitman bagged a crucial second-half brace for the Catalan giants as they turned the tables to comeback and defeat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash.

Diego Simeone’s men argued that Suarez should not have been on the pitch to score those goals after he was caught kicking out at defender Juanfran, in a first-half incident which could have led to a red card.

But the 29-year-old carried on with his goalscoring business, proding home an equaliser from close range in the 63rd minute to break stubborn Atletico’s 10-man resistance.

And just over 10 minutes later, Suarez powerfully headed in Dani Alves’ pin-point centre to give Barca a slender lead heading into next week’s second-leg.

3) FERNANDINHO (MANCHESTER CITY) – 6.91

Fernandinho scored a 72nd-minute equaliser to give Manchester City the advantage going into Tuesday’s second-leg at the Etihad Stadium.

The Brazilian played a hand in both Blues goals, and despite failing to track Adrien Rabiot for PSG’s second, he looked a totemic presence on and off the ball.

He intercepted a loose pass to feed Kevin de Bruyne for City’s opener on 38 minutes, and pounced on some comical PSG defending to score a decisive second goal with 18 minutes remaining.

Those away goals, and the fact PSG will be without the suspended David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi for the return, could prove crucial.

4) EDERSON MORAES (BENFICA) – 6.87

Despite finishing on the losing team, goalkeeper Ederson pulled off a string of superb saves to keep Benfica’s Champions League hopes alive.

With Julio Caesar ruled out with a groin injury, 22-year-old Ederson stepped up to deliver an impressive display as he denied Arturo Vidal, Franck Ribery, Douglas Costa and Thomas Mueller from adding a second goal.

Trailing 1-0 ahead of the second-leg on Wednesday in Lisbon, Benfica will be bidding to reach the last four for the first time since 1990.

5) JARDEL (BENFICA) – 6.82

It was always going to prove to be a difficult task for Benfica to beat Bayern without the deadly duo of Jonas and Kostas Mitroglou up front – the pair having scored 48 goals so far in the Portuguese league – but one man to lead by example was the titanic Jardel.

The defender played a key role in ensuring Encarnados still have a chance in the second-leg, bravely blocking Costa’s shot and cutting out Bayern’s threat and pace down the right flank.

He was instrumental throughout and Rui Vitoria’s side will need the Brazilian to replicate his magic if they are to progress to the last four of the competition.

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Top 10 Eastern European footballers

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Armenia’s place in Eastern Europe might be a bit debatable, but Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been incredible this year discovering his goal scoring touch under Thomas Tuchel.

In 2015, Mkhitaryan took 45 shots to score his first Bundesliga goal, but this campaign he seems incapable of missing, netting 20 goals and providing 24 assists in his 43 games so far.

One of the key reasons for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s sensational goal tally this season, Mkhitaryan is his country’s all-time top scorer and could easily lead a Dortmund title challenge next season.


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What they said - reaction from Motta, al Khelaifi, Matuidi and Pellegrini

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Can PSG beat Manchester City in the return leg?

Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adrien Rabiot give the French giants some hope going into next Tuesday’s return fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

The Ligue 1 champions also saw Ibrahimovic have a penalty saved by Joe Hart early on with the game still goalless.

“Collectively we know we should have done better,” said Motta. “There was less organisation than usual. When the ball fails to go at the right rhythm we lack quality. We allowed Manchester City to counter-attack and it cost us dearly.”

“Still we have showed in the past we are capable of turning such situations around. We must do the same as usual, keep a high percentage of possession and chances will come,” said Motta.

Laurent Blanc’s side will also be without David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi through suspension for the return leg in Manchester after both players were booked at the Parc des Princes.

Matuidi said he was disappointed with the result as Les Parisiens did not perform well on home soil:

“This is Champions League. We knew we should avoid conceding and did so twice. City had great attacking capabilities and it will be tough. We did not necessarily expect this,” he said.

“It’s sad getting the yellow card but that is football. We did not do everything perfectly, and lacked calm in key moments.”

PSG owner Nasser al Khelaifi echoed a similar feeling: “It’s not the best result but the good thing is we have to go and win in Manchester. Tonight was not a great result for us.”

Elsewhere, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said his side must not repeat the defensive errors in the second leg.

“In the first half we made an important mistake that we cannot continue to do if we want to stay in the competition,” said Pellegrini of the awful mix-up between Hart and Fernando that allowed Ibrahimovic to score.

“The second goal of PSG was offside. It was not a mistake of the defence but of the linesman.

“But it is important also to keep that mentality because when you receive the goal that we conceded in the last minute of the first half and then you concede a goal that is offside, it is not easy to try to recover, but I think this team has the personality and they believe in what they do.

“They always try to attack and we scored the second goal.”

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