Champions League XI: Harry Kane and Juan Mata saviours as Red Star dominate
The Champions League saw plenty of upsets this week, but who were the stars? Here's the best XI from Matchday 4.
Goalkeeper -- Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade)
The Canada international was outstanding in Red Star Belgrade's shock win over Liverpool. He made a number of good second-half saves but most impressive of all was his confidence in catching, punching and deflecting everything that came his way -- on several occasions making his way to the edge of a crowded penalty area to claim one of the many crosses Liverpool aimed into the hosts' box. His good work underpinned a raucous night in the Serbian capital.
Right wing-back -- Pavel Kaderabek (Hoffenheim)
At 2-0 down and with Kasim Nuhu dismissed six minutes into the second half, Hoffenheim's hopes of salvaging anything at Lyon seemed minimal. But they hauled themselves back into it through Andrej Kramaric and then, at the death, kept their campaign alive through Kaderabek's emphatic close-range finish. The Czech has always been an enterprising, forward-thinking player and his first-ever Champions League goal prevented second-placed Lyon from disappearing over the horizon in Group F.
Centre-back -- Vujadin Savic (Red Star Belgrade)
Red Star Belgrade's captain missed the 4-0 defeat at Anfield two weeks ago, in which there was little to suggest they would overpower Jurgen Klopp's side at Marakana. But Savic was back on Tuesday night and performed heroics, flinging himself into challenges and fist-pumping when late Liverpool surges were repelled. It was not all fire and brimstone though: Savic also provided control, composure and leadership in a back four that came under heavy pressure on the break. His inspirational presence was a key factor in arguably the biggest shock of this Champions League campaign.
Centre-back -- Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Bonucci ended upon the losing side after Manchester United's late comeback but still played an essential role in the game's most thrilling moment. Cristiano Ronaldo's second-half volley, which had appeared to put Juve in sight of victory, was a marvellous finish but would not have been possible without the breathtaking 50-yard ball Bonucci arced over the United defence to put him on goal. It was one of the best pieces of vision this season's competition will produce and a reminder that there are few comparable ball-playing defenders on the planet.
Centre-back -- Kostas Manolas (Roma)
Manolas's previous Champions League goal was the sensational late winner that ousted Barcelona in last season's quarterfinals. A fourth-minute group stage opener against CSKA Moscow could not quite match that for drama but its significance was still high. His looping header set them on their way to a 2-1 win in a match that, from the outset, looked pivotal in the race to escape Group G.
Left wing-back -- Juan Bernat (PSG)
Bernat picked a fine time to score his first goal for the French champions. His finish came after an intelligent, lung-busting dart infield and put PSG in the driving seat at half-time against Napoli. They could not hold on but their Champions League fate remains in their hands despite what has largely been a flat campaign in Europe. For Bernat, who was criticised last month by Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness for supposed "s--- play" during his spell in Germany, it was an opportune moment to make an impact at the top level.
Central midfield -- Carlos Soler (Valencia)
Valencia suffered a minor hiccup against Young Boys but overcame it thanks to a virtuoso display from the 21-year-old midfielder Soler. The homegrown talent laid on two goals for Santi Mina -- one when his chip hit the post and rebounded into his teammate's path; the other with a teasing cross -- and then burst away down the right to finish crisply during the second half and ensure that Valencia remain locked in combat with Manchester United for a place in the knockout stage.
Central midfield -- Ruud Vormer (Club Brugge)
The Club Brugge captain was on brilliant form in their humbling of Thierry Henry's crestfallen Monaco side. His first-time pass to Wesley allowed the Brazilian to score a fine third goal as the Belgians ran riot in the opening period, and then he ran through late on in the second to finish clinically and wrap up one of the week's most eyecatching victories. Club Brugge look highly unlikely to finish in the top two of Group A but are on the verge of guaranteeing Europa League football.
Central midfield -- Juan Mata (Manchester United)
If Jose Mourinho goes on to restore United into an irresistible force you wonder what he will owe Mata. It was the Spaniard who curled in a free kick against Newcastle last month to kickstart a remarkable comeback when Mourinho's job was on the line. And, on Wednesday, just six minutes after coming on as a substitute as United's Champions League position looked highly precarious, he repeated the trick with a floated effort that left Wojciech Szczesny grasping. He may be in and out of the team, but his impact in recent weeks has been indisputable.
Centre-forward -- Milan Pavkov (Red Star Belgrade)
What an astonishing performance Pavkov, who is effectively Red Star's second-choice striker, produced to outgun Liverpool. His first goal, a thundering header, gave Alisson no chance but it was bettered by the ferocious long-range drive he unleashed for his second. Pavkov looks ungainly but showed some deft touches on the ground, creating a counter-attack with one memorable first-time pass in the second half. He is an unlikely hero but a deserving one, and celebrated with the home fans in the crowd after full-time.
Centre-forward -- Harry Kane (Tottenham)
If Kane had not stepped up to turn Tottenham's fortunes around against PSV Eindhoven, the club would have been consigned to an ignominious early exit from the Champions League. As it is their hopes hang by a thread but those late interventions at Wembley, an instinctive left-footed shot and a header that deflected in off the unfortunate Trent Sainsbury, have at least postponed a few awkward questions for now. Can he now help Spurs achieve the seemingly impossible by pulling off back-to-back wins against Inter Milan and Barcelona?