Champion League

5 Standout Players From Semi-Final 2nd Leg

The ink is dry! Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid will meet in the most highly anticipated match on the European calendar — the UEFA Champions League (UCL) final — at Wembley Stadium on June 1. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Bayern Munich did their best to overcome the finalists in the two-legged semi-finals, but the winners simply had an extra gear at their disposal.

After beating PSG 1-0 at Signal Iduna Park in the first leg, Dortmund repeated the scoreline at Parc des Princes on Tuesday night (May 7). Real Madrid, meanwhile, held Bayern Munich to a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena before beating them 2-1 in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday (May 8).

Below, we will check out some players who made their mark in this week’s semi-finals. Here are the five standout performers of the UCL semi-final second legs:

#5 Vitinha – PSG

Vitinha Was One Of The Best Players Of Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg
Vitinha Was PSG’s Best Player Against Borussia Dortmund

PSG failed to overcome Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg at the Parc des Princes, with most of their superstars, including Kylian Mbappe, failing to meet expectations. Vitinha, however, was not in that pack. He was possibly the only PSG player who deserved to win on Tuesday.

The Portuguese central midfielder bossed the midfield against the Germans. He controlled the tempo, always came in to support his teammates, created multiple shooting opportunities, and even hit the woodwork once. In the Champions League semi-final second leg, Vitinha completed 64 passes with 94% accuracy, created three chances, played 13 passes into the final third, and delivered five accurate long balls.

#4 Mats Hummels – Borussia Dortmund

Mats Hummels Was One Of The Best Players In UCL Semi-Final 2nd Leg
Mats Hummels Scored The Winner Against PSG

While Vitinha’s night ended in despair, Borussia Dortmund stalwart Mats Hummels took victory laps after the final whistle. The veteran center-back scored the only goal at the Parc des Princes, dispatching a thumping header to direct Julian Brandt’s corner-kick delivery into the back of the net. After his 50th-minute goal, Hummels held the fort at the back, expertly dealing with waves of PSG attack.

In the Champions League semi-final second leg, Hummels made 10 clearances, registered two blocks, recovered the ball thrice, and recorded three interceptions. He also was formidable in duels, coming out on top in seven of nine tussles.

#3 Joselu Mato – Real Madrid

Joselu Was One Of The Best Performers In Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg
Real Madrid Beat Bayern Munich Thanks To Joselu’s Brace

Real Madrid secured a dramatic 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night. Supersub Joselu scored both of those goals to fire Real Madrid into their 18th European Cup/Champions League final.

In the 88th minute, only seven minutes after coming on, Joselu wheeled away in celebration, having tucked away Vinicius Jr.’s rebound from point-blank range. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer failed to collect the Brazilian’s seemingly straightforward shot and spilled it right in front of Joselu, allowing him to tap it in. A couple of minutes later, he scored his second, applying a side-footed finish to direct Antonio Rudiger’s cutback into the back of the net.

The Spaniard may not get minutes in the final against Dortmund, but his telling contribution in the semis will live long in fans’ memories.

#2 Harry Kane – Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich Ace Harry Kane Played Well Against Madrid
Bayern Munich Star Harry Kane Is Their Highest Wage Earner

Bayern Munich talisman Harry Kane delivered a memorable performance in the 2-1 Champions League semi-final defeat to Real Madrid. The Englishman did everything right except for scoring. He drew a couple of saves out of Andriy Lunin, combined brilliantly with teammates, and played a superb long ball to Alphonso Davies, leading to Bayern’s only goal in the 68th minute.

Before coming off the pitch in the 85th minute, Kane created two chances, delivered two accurate long balls, made four recoveries, and won five duels. The outcome could have been a lot different had Thomas Tuchel not taken him off in the closing minutes of the game.

#1 Vinicius Jr. – Real Madrid

Vinicius Junior Is The Most Valuable Winger On The Planet
Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior Was The Best Player Against Bayern Munich

Arguably the best winger in the world, Real Madrid ace Vinicius Jr. delivered another Man of the Match performance against Bayern Munich. Unlike the first leg, in which he scored a brace, Vinicius Jr. could not find the back of the net. However, Joselu’s equalizer came only because of his relentlessness.

The Brazilian penetrated the box from the left and dispatched a powerful effort. Under pressure, Manuel Neuer failed to catch it, leading to Joselu’s simple tap-in. Vinicius Jr. also delivered a masterclass in one-on-one play on Wednesday, beating Bayern right-back Joshua Kimmich practically at will in the second half.

In the Champions League semi-final second leg, Vinicius Jr. completed a match-high seven dribbles, created two chances and a big chance, had three shots, and won nine duels. If Madrid win the Champions League in London, Vinicius Jr. will be one of the frontrunners for the 2024 Ballon d’Or.



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