Goal.com selects the best performers of the fifth matchday in Europe's elite club tournament, and it was a week to forget for English clubs, who were not represented at allThe penultimate matchday of the Champions League group stage proved the most decisive yet as Paris Saint-Germain, Schalke, Arsenal, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Bayern Munich and Barcelona all booked their places in the last 16 of the competition this week.
Tuesday began in some style thanks to Juventus' dismantling of European champions Chelsea, before Manchester City and Zenit St Petersburg became the next big-named casualties to suffer elimination a day later. Now, Goal.com is on hand to present to you the best performers of the round.
Starting in goal, Gianluigi Buffon's leadership between the sticks inspired the Bianconeri to a resounding success over the current holders, marshalling his backline and making a few vital saves in the process. At right-back, Dani Alves edges out Stephan Lichtsteiner, having marked his return to the Barcelona side in style with a well-placed shot, while on the opposing flank, Christian Fuchs' piledriver from distance was a worthy match-winner for Schalke against Olympiakos.
In the middle of defence, Mats Hummels is finally in our dream team following a faultless display, even supplying the assist for BVB's second goal in the 4-1 demolition of Ajax. And last but not least, Philippe Mexes was equally as imposing for the Rossoneri, but managed to conjure up a delightful overhead kick for good measure.
Moving up the pitch, Arturo Vidal's tireless midfield display and smart finish ensured Juventus made easy work of their win against the Blues, while pulling the strings alongside him is Joao Moutinho, who single-handedly orchestrated Porto's 3-0 triumph over Dinamo Zagreb with a goal and two assists to his name.
Given his quick-fire hat-trick against Braga, Cluj's Rui Pedro earns the privilege of leading the line in our Team of the Week, as his goals handed the Romanians a fighting chance of achieving progression on matchday six. His supporting cast consists of Lionel Messi, who returns after a three-week absence after outclassing Spartak with two clinical strikes, Willian - arguably the player of the round with contributions in four of Shakhtar's five goals against Nordsjaelland - and, last but not least, Mario Gotze, who ran rings around Ajax's defence, getting three assists and scoring a superbly-taken effort.
|vs Spartak (A)||vs Anderlecht (A)||vs Ajax (A)||vs Olympiakos (H)|
|vs Chelsea (H)||vs Dinamo Zagreb (H)|
|vs Spartak (A)||vs Nordsjaelland (A)||vs Ajax (A)|