Welcome to European Soccer Week 6. It’s been another thrilling week of spectacular football. We saw an amazing display of grit and guts, along with sublime skill and passion. Some of the big guns proved their worth once again. Meanwhile, the new kids announced their arrival in style. We’ll take a look at all the hat tricks, goal saves and comebacks that make European soccer great. Plus, we’ll highlight some of the top performances in fantasy league play.
Neymar Nets Hat Trick
Let’s begin our review with a look at the UEFA Champions League. Top fantasy league striker Neymar put on a fantastic display of skill and confidence. In a stellar display of demolition and precision, Neymar single-handedly steered the French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain to a thumping victory over Red Star Belgrade. The end score was 6-1. Neymar ended the day with a hat trick. Meanwhile, PSG’s Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria also made notable contributions.
Neymar’s performance stands out not just because of his individual hat trick achievement but also his overall impact on the team. The nature of the goals he scored, the overall chances he created via assists, and the completeness of his performance created a positive ripple effect for PSG. For instance, Neymar as the main strike force often fell back allowing Cavani to be pawned by Di Maria. As a result, Neymar cemented his position as the game changer for PSG. His performance not only takes him a few notches up in the points table but rakes in valuable points for those who have him in their final fixture.
Speaking of goals, Neymar scored two out of his total three goals for the day through set-piece free kicks. Both free kicks steered away from the wall and into the top corner of the goal. Their spot-on accuracy left the goalkeeper absolutely helpless. They were sheer artistry and an utter joy to watch. With Neymar, you get the best of both worlds, fantasy league points along with electrifying gameplay. However, the hat tricks don’t stop with Neymar.
Dybala Carries Juventus
Next up in the ranks after a quiet few weeks is Argentine sensation Paulo Dybala. The forward announced his presence with an impressive hat trick over Berner Sport Club Young Boys, who were making their Champions League competition debut. Riding on Dybala’s hat trick, Juventus F.C. displayed their resounding dominance in the group and proved themselves formidable leaders of European football.
Dybala played out his role as the central striker under manager Massimiliano Allegri’s 4-2-3-1 formation. With Christiano Ronaldo suspended, Dybala made full use of the opportunity to reclaim his position on the team. The striker was a valuable fantasy asset, netting three goals and creating multiple chances for Juventus. Meanwhile, teammates Juan Cuadrado and Mario Mandzukic assisted Dybala with a constant flow of supplies. Both players thoroughly influenced control of the game through their dominant presence on both flanks. However, Dybala was the main story. We’ll have to monitor his productivity and continued quest to come out of teammate Ronaldo’s shadow.
Messi and Company Shine
As usual, Messi was at his sublime best with a breathtaking performance. His individual play was like poetry in motion. However, it was FC Barcelona’s teamwork that shined in their away match against Tottenham Hotspur F.C. at Wembley Stadium. These two top-class teams demonstrated the highest level of teamwork and true club football. The match was a pre-holiday treat for football fans around the world.
Jordi Alba, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, and the supporting cast of both teams played their roles out diligently. Although the two goals scored by Messi were crafted with precision, time and again Luis Suarez proved why he’s regarded as one of the game’s best no 9s. Even though Suarez doesn’t win many fantasy league points, he plays the game with his head. For instance, Suarez created two goals without even touching the ball. His body feigns freed up Messi to handle the ball completely unmarked. If this is what Suarez can do without touching the ball, imagine what can happen if he becomes a ball handler. We would love to witness this other side of Suarez’s game. Until then, Messi is Barcelona’s best possible fantasy pick. Plus, if Messi continues getting high quality play from his teammates, his fantasy league value can only grow.
English Premiere League Roundup
The usual top performers were strangely silent this week and turned up with damp performances. Mohamed Salah’s performance was met with a cold shoulder as Liverpool F.C. lost at home to Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba couldn’t bolster Manchester United F.C. over Valencia CF at home. In the English Premier league, things seemed to spice up with West Ham United F.C. pulling out a tremendous 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. West Ham was led by a sensational performance by Brazilian recruit Felipe Anderson. Felipe was a productive fantasy pick with two goal-scoring assists and a brilliant goal. West Ham posted a convincing three goals in the Manchester side of the goal before Manchester United could return one back through a flash of genius effort from Marcus Rashford. Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City F.C. also made their marks in both the domestic and European competitions.
Among goalkeepers, David de Gea of Manchester United and Alisson Becker of Liverpool made gains in the points table for their game-saving performances. Speaking of which, Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge returned from a prolonged injury with a signature goal in the death minutes of the Liverpool vs. Chelsea match. However, due to Sturridge’s past anonymity on the score sheet, it’ll be a while before he makes a splash in the fantasy soccer points table. We’ll have to wait and see if Sturridge or any other star can join the ranks of Neymar and Messi as European soccer fantasy league heavy hitters. In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted on all the exciting developments in European soccer and fantasy league competition.