Champions League Team of the Week: Jude Bellingham, Lois Openda and Phil Foden included

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 30 Nov 2023 10:48 GMT
  • 6 min read
Jude Bellingham, Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid, 2023/24
© ProShots

The 2023-24 Champions League group stages now have just one matchday left following the conclusion of round five of the competition.

Several teams have already sealed their place in the last-16 - such as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich - but it remains all to play for in a few crucial groups.

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Paris Saint Germain’s last-minute penalty against Newcastle ensured the Magpies have an uphill battle to qualify on the final day, while Manchester United must hope that Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw in Matchday Six, or they will be eliminated from the competition regardless of their result against Bayern.

Below, FootballTransfers runs through our Champions League Team of the Week for Matchday Five.

GK - Nick Pope (Newcastle)

PSG had 31 shots (seven on target), 72% possession and over 4.5 xG against Newcastle, yet it took a stoppage time penalty for them to draw level against Eddie Howe’s men.

Nick Pope, and some poor finishing, were to thank for that, with the England international making a total of six saves, including a point-blank range stop with his knee from a Bradley Barcola effort that looked destined for the net.

He was excellent on the night and was unfortunate to concede a last-gasp Kylian Mbappe penalty.

Nick Pope, Newcastle
© ProShots - Nick Pope, Newcastle

RB - Lewin Blum (Young Boys)

Young Boys sealed a crucial 2-0 win over Crvena zvezda in their bid to finish third in Group G and enter the Europa League.

Right-back Lewin Blum netted the second in the 29th minute and was their standout player. He made five tackles, three clearances, one block and one interception, as well as two key passes (no Young Boys player managed more).

CB - Mats Hummels (Dortmund)

Mats Hummels continued his fine Champions League form with another eye-catching performance against Milan.

Dortmund were unable to keep a clean sheet at San Siro, but they emerged 3-1 winners and sealed their place in the last-16 with a game to spare in the Group of Death.

Hummels was formidable at the back and his 10 tackles and nine clearances were both match-highs. He also completed two successful dribbles and lost possession just three times.

CB - Mykola Matviyenko (Shakhtar)

Shakhtar ‘keeper Dmytro Riznyk was perhaps unlucky to miss out on this XI, but his team-mate Mykola Matviyenko more than deserves his inclusion.

The centre-back scored the only goal of the game in Shakhtar’s 1-0 win over Royal Antwerp, and played a key role in an impressive defensive performance.

Matviyenko made six clearances, two blocks, two interceptions and one tackle, and it was ultimately his 12th minute header that proved the difference.

LB - Joao Cancelo (Barcelona)

Joao Cancelo has always been more of a winger than a full-back and he proved that fact during Barcelona’s 2-1 win over FC Porto.

The Blaugrana’s first goal came courtesy of some Cancelo magic; after a switch of play, he drove forward, jinked inside onto his right-foot and unleashed an unstoppable effort into the far corner.

25 minutes later, he turned provider as he combined nicely with Joao Felix before crossing the ball for the on-loan Atletico Madrid forward to find the back of the net. In doing so, Barcelona qualified for the Champions League knockouts for the first time since Lionel Messi’s exit.

CM - Joao Mario (Benfica)

Joao Mario joined Inter Milan for €44.8 million in 2017. Three loan spells later, he left the club to join Benfica on a free transfer.

On Wednesday night, he scored a 34 minute hat-trick against his former side in a blistering Benfica start. They bottled that lead as Inter came back to draw 3-3, but Mario’s first-half efforts should not be forgotten.

CM - Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

The superlatives to describe Jude Bellingham are becoming very limited after his start to life at Real Madrid.

His perfect header against Napoli was sublime, but it was just the icing on the cake of yet another flawless display.

Bellingham ran the show again as he created four key passes and grabbed an assist for Joselu’s 94th minute effort. His energy is tenacious and he could be on his way to guiding Real Madrid to Champions League glory.

CM - Phil Foden (Man City)

Phil Foden rarely gets the chance to play in central midfield, but Pep Guardiola offered him that opportunity against RB Leipzig and he grabbed it with both hands.

Phil Foden, Man City
© ProShots - Phil Foden, Man City

The England international scored his second Champions League goal in as many games, while he also provided an assist for Erling Haaland and was unlucky to not be credited with another assist after his deflected cross found Julian Alvarez to finish.

Foden’s goal was effortless, too, as he collected the ball from Josko Gvardiol with a perfect first touch and passed the ball into the corner with no difficulty at all.

A masterful technician, whose quality was on full show at the Etihad Stadium.

RW - Hakim Ziyech (Galatasaray)

Hakim Ziyech’s two goals should both go down as Andre Onana assists given the poor goalkeeping on both, but the Chelsea loanee deserves credit for the two strikes at goal.

He also laid on an assist for Kerem Akturkoglu as Galatasaray avoided defeat and left qualification in their hands.

ST - Lois Openda (RB Leipzig)

Lois Openda is the real deal and he scored a first-half brace against Manchester City as RB Leipzig looked set to cause a major upset.

After a long ball from ‘keeper Janis Blaswich, Openda pinned and spun Manuel Akanji before racing through on goal and sliding the ball past Stefan Ortega with an effortless left-footed finish.

20 minutes later, Openda made it two as he proved just how devastating he can be on the counter-attack. Just as he’d done to Akanji, the Leipzig man rolled Ruben Dias after a Xavi Simons pass, sprinted through on goal, jinked inside Josko Gvardiol and placed the ball past a helpless Ortega.

Lois Openda, RB Leipzig
© ProShots - Lois Openda, RB Leipzig

Leipzig eventually crumbled to a 3-2 defeat, but Openda deserves serious praise for his performance.

LW - Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)

We’re very aware that Gabriel Jesus played through the middle during Arsenal’s 6-0 win over RC Lens, but the Brazilian was so good that we felt it was necessary to include him, even out of position.

One goal, one assist, four completed dribbles (100% success rate), Jesus was on fire as Arsenal ran riot at the Emirates Stadium.

Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli were equally impressive, but just miss out on inclusion in our Team of the Week.

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