It wasn't Leipzig's night at the Etihad Stadium, but you couldn't fault them for their tenacity in reducing the gap to just one goal three times. Christopher Nkunku, who scored a hat-trick by getting into the right position to score with his head and constantly unsettling City's defense by rushing directly at them, was their outstanding performance. He became one of a select group of players to score a hat-trick in a Champions League match while losing. The others are Cristiano Ronaldo against Manchester United in 2003, Gareth Bale against Inter Milan in 2010, and Irfan Kahveci against Leipzig last season for Istanbul Basaksehir.
Ajax scored five goals against Sporting Lisbon in the round's most emphatic win, and it wasn't a terrible way for Sebastien Haller to make his Champions League debut. Although the Ivory Coast attacker struggled at West Ham, he quickly regained his scoring touch at Ajax, and this four-goal haul was remarkable. Haller joined legend Marco van Basten as the only players to score four goals in their Champions League debut in Lisbon, scoring two in the first nine minutes and two more after the break.
Robert Lewandowski is one of the more predictable additions to the Champions League squad of the week, but he is in such spectacular form that you can't keep him silent. The Pole demonstrated his predatory instinct as Bayern strolled to win against Barcelona, making it 18 games in a row that he has scored for them. Lewandowski scored ten goals in his first six games of the season, and he looks motivated to help Bayern repeat their Champions League triumph from 2020.
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ought to up their game because they are already being left behind. Is this surely the end of an era and the beginning of a new one?
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