December is always a fun time in the football calendar. The fixtures start coming thick and fast, and that means more chances for the game’s top players to steal the show.
This week brought us the final matchday of the Champions League group stage, and as you’d expect, there was no shortage of drama, controversy and excitement – and that means plenty of ratings. There are excellent performances.
You know the drill: we’re into Europe’s top 15 players at 90 minutes, using excerpts from a year of cinematic history. This week, it has ended 2010.
Calvert-Lewin returns to the score sheet / Clive Brunskill / Getty Images
“Gentlemen, the only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible.” (Alice in Wonderland)
Talk of Everton winning the title has become rarer recently, but Dominic Calvert-Leon clearly still believes.
He scored his side’s only goal in the recent 1-1 draw with Burnley, taking his tally to 11 in 11 games.
Salah wore shooting boots against Wolves/Pool/Getty Images
“I’m like a peacock, you have to let me fly!” (other people)
Salah was flying in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Wolves, stealing the show with a goal and an assist.
The Egyptian ended the week with another goal to draw 1-1 with Midtjylland in the 90th minute.
Ward Prose turned creative this week / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
“I read the book with me every day, so caught up in protecting it, I forgot to live by what I learned from it.
“And what is that?”
“Doing more for others than you would do for yourself.” (Book of Eli)
Ward-Prowse took a break from scoring free kicks this week and settled for assists instead.
His corner allowed Jenk Westergaard to equalize in a 2–1 win over Brighton, giving Southampton the platform they needed to get back into the game.
Berghuis suffers a slump / ANP Sport/Getty Images
“I don’t think there’s a problem with bad wiring.” (insidious)
After an electric start to the season, Burgois is now without a goal in his last four games.
Unsurprisingly, Feyenoord’s results dropped at the same time, and they are without a win in their last five.
Mbappe impressed against Istanbul/Xavier Lane/Getty Images.
“He’s brave, like a cowboy should be. And kind, and smart. But what makes Woody special is that he’ll never give up on you. (Toy Story 3)
Football success aside, Kylian Mbappe has been credited with voicing his support for Pierre Weibo amid accusations of racism from Istanbul Basaksehir. good man.
He stood by Turkey… but also scored two goals and an assist in PSG’s 5-1 win.
A quiet week for Felix/DeFodi Images/Getty Images
“I am very afraid, sir, that your greatest test is yet to come.” (King’s Speech)
After a red-hot few weeks, Felix took a step back this week, though it wasn’t entirely a hit-and-fault.
He was rested for Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Real Valladolid and then kicked off a post against Salzburg. A tough week for Felix, but at least Atleti stayed strong.
Tavernier continues to defy logic / ANDY BUCHANAN / Getty Images
“Don’t worry. The moon is as good as us.” (despite me)
Tavernier is shooting for the stars this season…literally.
The Rangers right-back bagged a goal and two assists this week to continue his ridiculous goalscoring run in Scotland. He now sits at 16 goals and 12 assists in just 26 games, and he’s a defender!
Lukaku endured a tough week / Jonathan Mascrop/Getty Images
“Sometimes the things you want the most don’t happen and the things you least expect happen.” (Love and Other Drugs)
Getting knocked out of the Champions League so early probably wasn’t in Lukaku’s plans for this season.
He was powerless to do anything about Inter’s 0-0 draw with Shakhtar (well, maybe not considering he blocked a teammate’s goal-scoring header), but he At least managed to get on the scoresheet against Bologna.
Müller was Bayern’s hero / Alexander Hessenstein / Getty Images
“I’m the one fighting. Not you, not you, and not you.” (fighter)
Often a sidekick, Müller took center stage this week as he saved Bayern Munich from defeat by RB Leipzig.
The assist king popped up this week with two goals to salvage a point from the Bundesliga leaders, who were uncharacteristically shaky.
Lewandowski had a quiet week/Handout/Getty Images
“Life can be tough sometimes, it gets tough. What with family and kids and things not going exactly as you planned. But that’s what makes it interesting.” (Young)
You won’t find many weeks in which Bayern score five goals and Lewandowski isn’t involved in one of them.
He scored a goal against Leipzig before being rested for a 2–0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow.
Goncalves has been outstanding / Standard Sports Photos / Getty Images.
“My greatest creation that is, and always will be, is you.” (Iron Man 2)
Sporting’s biggest decision this summer was to bring in Goncalves from the Familicao.
The 22-year-old midfielder scored his tenth goal in his last six league games in the 2-2 draw with his former employers, and is currently three places up the Liga NOS scoring charts.
Fernandes has been United’s savior/De Foudy Images/Getty Images
“Well, it’s their own stupidity, I should have been there. Well, darkness is the absence of light, and stupidity in this instance was my absence. (Social Network)
Bruno Fernandes’ absence made Manchester United look quite silly against West Ham.
The Red Devils could have been five or six down by the time Fernandes came off the bench at half-time, but the midfielder turned the game around.
He made a league-high eight chances in the game and went with one assist, and he only played 45 minutes!
Son is in great form/Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
“Such a lovely place, to be with friends. Dobby is happy to be with his friend Harry Potter.” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1)
The son is happy to be with his friend Harry Kane.
The pair combined to put Arsenal to the sword this week, with Son’s early opener – a sweet curler from distance – deservedly stealing the headlines.
Ronaldo strikes again at Barcelona/David Ramos/Getty Images
“Which would be worse? To live as a monster or to die as a good person? (Shutter Island)
Ronaldo returned to Spain to face Barcelona this week and picked up exactly where he left off.
He put in a monster performance as he netted twice in a 3-0 win for Juventus that saw his side top their European group at the expense of Barcelona.
Kane is back at the top / pool / Getty Images.
“They say we only use a fraction of our brain’s true potential. Now when we’re awake. When we’re asleep, we can do almost anything. (Beginning)
After a week away from the top spot, Kane has reclaimed his throne by proving once again that there’s nothing he can’t do.
The Spurs star finished with a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over Arsenal (respectively), and then he chipped in with an assist just 12 minutes after coming on as a substitute against Royal Antwerp.
It’s just a standard week for Ken these days.
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