UCL: Top Performers Of UCL Matchday 1

UCL: Top Performers Of UCL Matchday 1

  • UCL
  • September 10, 2022
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The UEFA Champions League kicked off in midweek, and boy was it an exciting round of games. Europe’s premier club competition returned with a lot of surprising results and upsets.

Here are our picks for the top performing players, teams, and managers from matchday 1.

Also read: UCL Watch: Top Games To Watch From UCL Matchday 1

GNK Dinamo Zagreb And Ante Cacic

Arguably the result of the first game week of the Champions League was Chelsea’s defeat in their opening game against the Croatian Champions, GNK Dinamo Zagreb. It was a performance with great resilience and character as they defended a one-goal lead for almost 80 minutes after taking an early lead in the first half.

Their manager, Ante Cacic, got his tactics spot on, and the performance from his players was equally spectacular. Livakovic, in goal, had a solid game as the Croatian international came away with a clean sheet against Aubameyang, Sterling, and Havertz.

The goal is the perfect example of how well Dinamo prepared for this game. Defensively, Chelsea have been shambolic this season, and the goal on Tuesday was another example of that. Koulibaly went in to win the first ball, but Petkovic’s flick was excellent.

Fofana, the big money signing, was signed for his recovery pace, but it wasn’t on display against Zagreb as Orsic ran almost 50 yards with the ball, but Fofana couldn’t catch up. A weakness in Chelsea’s defence was spotted and targetted exceptionally well.

Leroy Sane

Bayern comfortably won their opening game of the campaign against Inter Milan. The German champions absolutely dominated the game from start to finish, and one of their best performers on the night was Leroy Sane. The winger scored the game’s first goal and was a threat throughout the game.

Sane completed 3 key passes, second most in the side, and a stunning 7 progressive passes as well. He recorded 4 shot-creating actions and 7 progressive carries as well against Inter Milan.

Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe was another player who caught the eye this midweek. After a summer of extreme controversy regarding his  touted transfer, fans and pundits alike were ready to blame Mbappe for not performing up to expectations. However, the French sensation didn’t give anyone a chance to do so as he was one of the best performers from the opening match week of the Champions League.

He scored both of PSG’s goals in their 2-1 win over Juventus, and both of his finishes were world-class. Mbappe had an xG of 0.8 in the game and got two goals to his name. He was also involved in 5 shot-creating actions and recorded a spectacular 8 progressive carries against Juventus.


Another Brazilian who has made this list is Tottenham’s Richarlison. After his headline arrival from Everton in the summer, he has been mainly used as an impact sub off the bench this season. In Tottenham’s first Champions League game of the season, Conte gave Rcharlison his UCL debut.

It was an exciting front three of Kane, Son, and Richarlison, which Spurs fans would want to see more as the season progresses. With an xG of 0.4, he scored 2 excellent headers in the second half. Richarlison was also involved in 4 shot-creating actions against Marseille.

André Zambo Anguissa

Not the most famous names, but probably the best player of this game week was Napoli’s André Zambo Anguissa. His performance in the midfield against Liverpool was remarkable as he bossed that area of the pitch against one of the best pressing sides in Europe.

Anguissa completed 2 key passes and 3 long balls against Liverpool. He was involved in 6 shot-creating actions, joint most for his side. Anguissa completed 4 progressive passes and 4 progressive carries in a game where Napoli battered Liverpool. He also scored Napoli’s second goal on the night in what was an impressive performance by the midfielder.

Piotr Zieliński

A player who Klopp reportedly wanted to bring to Liverpool a few years ago, Piotr Zieliński’s performance against Liverpool was excellent. He is the exact kind of player that Liverpool are missing right now. Dynamic, creative, and someone who can score from the midfield.

The Polish international was involved in 3 of Napoli’s 4 goals, scoring 2 and assisting 1. He had an xG of 1.5, and an npxG of 0.9 as both of his goals were in situations that favoured the attacker. The first was the early penalty, while the second came in the second half when he beautifully chipped a struggling Alisson.

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