Team: FC Bayern München
Towards the end of last season the German giants pretty much made this slot their own and if they continue playing as they did against Manchester City FC on Wednesday then we may just have to give it to them every week again. The 3-1 scoreline did not do justice to their majesty in north-west England, passing their hosts into submission – by the end even the home support were applauding them. "Terrific," was Arjen Robben's summation. At the start of the campaign there was a burning question: could Josep Guardiola improve Jupp Heynckes's team? Ominously for the rest of Europe, the early signs are affirmative.
Player: Kostas Mitroglou (Olympiacos FC)
Greece striker Mitroglou went into this season without a hat-trick to his name, but after a third in 32 days away to RSC Anderlecht on Wednesday, three-goal hauls are quick becoming his forte. "Olympiacos had three chances and scored three goals," rued John van den Brom, whose side mustered 18 shots to the visitors' eight in Brussels but were no match for Mitroglou's clinical eye. "The third goal was my favourite, although I can't describe it to you as I was just too happy about scoring a hat-trick," said the 25-year-old, the first Greek player to claim the match ball in the UEFA Champions League.
Goal: Julian Draxler (FC Schalke 04)
Having converted after a perfectly-timed run on matchday one against FC Steaua Bucureşti, the 20-year-old upped the ante at FC Basel 1893, showing outstanding technique to score the only goal of Tuesday's Group E game. Draxler met a bouncing clearance from a corner with an elegant stroke of his right boot to send a 25-metre shot past Yann Sommer and inside the upright. "There was a lot of disquiet before the game due to our recent results, which made it all the more important to win," said grateful team-mate Marco Höger. "The game was eventually decided by a wonder goal."
FC Shakhtar Donetsk fans stood to pay tribute to Manchester United FC's evergreen Ryan Giggs as the 39-year-old overtook Raúl González to make a record 145th appearance in the UEFA Champions League – including qualifiers – in a 1-1 draw at the Donbass Arena on Wednesday. The Welshman came on as a 66th-minute substitute, having played his first UEFA Champions League game just over 20 years ago, in September 2003. The competition, he said, "is the pinnacle of European football and to overtake someone like Raúl, who is a legend in the game, is pleasing". Raúl still holds the record for the most appearances in the group stage and beyond – 142 – with Giggs second in the rankings on 135.
"Sometimes the older players like Silvio Proto or Olivier Deschacht say to me 'hey, you were only born yesterday', but it is just banter. A few years ago I just watched those guys on TV – now I am one of them. Amazing!"
RSC Anderlecht midfielder Youri Tielemens, who on Wednesday became the third youngest debutant in the history of the UEFA Champions League at 16 years and 148 days
Thief-taker: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio)
Italian football unearthed a new hero when Lazio's Ogenyi Onazi used his terrific pace to track and apprehend a thief on the streets of Rome. The Nigerian midfielder was eating out with his brother when he saw someone snatch a purse from a tourist's bag. Immediately, the 20-year-old set after the thief. "I ran for 300 metres – the mugger left the wallet under a car, but I saw him," he explained. "I chased him down and brought him back to the restaurant. I told the restaurant owner to call the police and we brought the wallet back to the lady. She was in tears and thanked me, as the wallet was full of money." Our hero.
No-show: Rod Stewart (Celtic FC)
Neil Lennon's men failed to repeat their 2012/13 UEFA Champions League success against FC Barcelona, with Cesc Fàbregas hitting the only goal at Celtic Park; it was a disappointment to the ten-man Hoops, but perhaps no surprise given that singer Rod Stewart – who famously wept in the VIP seats during Celtic's 2-1 win last year – was a no-show on the night. Scheduled to play a run of gigs in Glasgow, Stewart made "one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make" and dutifully decided not to turn up for Tuesday's Group H game. "After what happened last time Barcelona played Celtic at Celtic Park, I'm afraid I’d sing myself stupid and have no voice left for the remaining shows," he explained.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.