Champion League

5 Best Players From 1st Leg

Earlier this week, we were treated to two fascinating UEFA Champions League semi-final clashes. On Tuesday night (April 30), six-time European champions Bayern Munich welcomed record 14-time winners Real Madrid to Allianz Arena for the first leg. The scoreboard flashed 2-2 at the end of the enthralling encounter, setting the stage for a grand showdown at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on May 8.

On Wednesday night, attention shifted to Signal Iduna Park, as Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund hosted Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the first leg. Dortmund produced a fine performance against Kylian Mbappe and Co. and claimed a 1-0 victory. The Parisians will need to produce a much better showing to turn their fortunes around at the Parc des Princes on May 7.

Today, we will take a look at some of the best performances from the last round, honoring those who delivered them. Continue reading to check out the five standout performers from the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg.

#5 Jamal Musiala — Bayern Munich

Jamal Musiala Was One Of The Best Players In UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg
Jamal Musiala Completed 19 Dribbles In Just 3 Matches At The 2022 FIFA World Cup

Bayern Munich attacker Jamal Musiala was at the top of his game against Real Madrid on Tuesday night. With Dani Carvajal out due to suspension, Musiala went up against make-shift right-back Lucas Vazquez. The German made the most of his nimble feet to get the best of the Spaniard and create chances for his teammates. In the 56th minute, he drew a foul from Vazquez inside the Madrid box, winning a penalty, which Harry Kane smartly put away to make it 2-1 for the Bavarians.

Throughout the game, Musiala completed 31 passes with 89% accuracy, pulled off five dribbles, and played two passes into the final third. He also made a couple of interceptions, recorded three recoveries, and won 10 ground duels.

#4 Harry Kane — Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich Ace Harry Kane Was One Of The Best Players Of UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg
Bayern Munich Man Harry Kane Is The Golden Shoe Leader With 70 points (35 goals)

Golden Shoe frontrunner Harry Kane scored Bayern Munich’s second goal of the night against Real Madrid, taking his season tally to 43 goals in as many outings. Under insurmountable pressure, Kane took a brilliant penalty in the 57th minute, sending in-form goalkeeper Andriy Lunin the wrong way and coolly slotting the ball into the back of the net. Kane also sent Leroy Sane through on goal with a brilliant first touch inside the opening minute of play, but the winger failed to put it beyond the goalkeeper.

Kane’s creative tendencies were for everyone to see against Los Blancos, as he created three chances in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg. He also played three passes into the final third, delivered three accurate long balls, made five recoveries, and won two duels.

#3 Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund

Jadon Sancho Was One Of The Best Performers Of Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg
Jadon Sancho Was Sensational Against PSG

Jadon Sancho, who joined Borussia Dortmund on loan from Manchester United after falling out with Erik ten Hag, produced a masterclass against PSG. He was beating defenders for fun, combined flawlessly with his teammates, and kept the Parisians on their toes from the first moment to the last.

Sancho, who faces an uncertain future at Manchester United, completed 12 dribbles against the French side. No player had completed as many since Lionel Messi’s masterclass against Manchester United in April 2008 (16 dribbles). Additionally, Sancho created three chances, completed 51 passes with 88% accuracy, and played four passes into the final third.

#2 Toni Kroos – Real Madrid

Real Madrid Icon Toni Kroos
Toni Kroos Has Won 5 UEFA Champions League Trophies

Real Madrid maestro Toni Kroos returned to his old hunting ground, the Allianz Arena, for the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg. Bayern Munich fans did everything in their power to unnerve their former player, whistling and jeering him every time he touched the ball. However, it seemingly had no impact on the five-time UEFA Champions League winner, as he delivered another masterful performance.

In the 24th minute, Kroos produced the standout moment of the game, playing a world-class through-ball to slice through the Bayern defense and assist Vinicius Jr. The goal disrupted Bayern’s flow and they could not bounce back in the remaining 21 minutes of the first half. The sensational assist aside, Kroos created three chances, completed 79 passes with 96% accuracy, played 13 passes into the final third, and delivered six accurate long balls.

#1 Vinicius Jr. – Real Madrid

Vinicius Jr Was One Of The Standout Players Of Champions League Semi-Finals
Vinicius Jr. Is One Of The Best Players In The World

Most players would lose sleep thinking about facing Bayern Munich for the first time at the Allianz Arena. Luckily for Real Madrid, their star forward Vinicius Jr is no ordinary player. He enjoys such challenges, thrives when the opposition fans are booing their hearts out. So, unsurprisingly, Vinicius Jr. had a field day at the Allianz Arena, scoring both of Real Madrid’s goals.

He opened the scoring in the 24th minute, making a brilliant run to facilitate a world-class through-ball from Toni Kroos before applying a cool finish to beat one of the best goalkeepers in history, Manuel Neuer. The Brazilian winger scored his second in the 83rd minute, just when his team needed someone to step up and convert a penalty under pressure. He sent Neuer the wrong way to make it 2-2 in Bayern’s backyard.

Vinicius Jr. also completed a dribble, made two recoveries, and won two of three ground duels in the semi-final first leg.



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