Champions League Awards Memphis Depay Atletico Madrid
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Champions League Awards: Depay drama and shootout saves

Our Champions League awards honour the best – and worst – of the midweek European action.

Moment of the Week

We were vocal in our support of the away goals rule recently, but Atletico Madrid’s dramatic win over Inter Milan showed the merit of removing it. Diego Simeone’s side would have been all but out after conceding first at the Metropolitano Stadium, trailing 2-0 on aggregate to a side that has conceded just 13 league goals all season.

An instant reply from Antoine Griezmann brought the Spanish side back into the game and – needing just one to force extra time – kept the tie firmly alive. That goal arrived three minutes from time, as substitute Memphis Depay spun sharply and fired in an aggregate equaliser to send the home crowd wild.

Atletico might not quite be the same kings of conflict from past seasons, but the doggedness of Simeone’s side remains and was on show here. Their never-say-die spirit turned a tie around that looked to be escaping from them, with Depay’s dramatic goal setting the Spaniards on a path to shootout success.

Player of the Week

David Raya has not had the easiest of starts at Arsenal. The summer signing from Brentford has faced some challenging moments in his first months with the Gunners, with a collection of high-profile errors having contributed to a shaky start.

The Spanish shot-stopper has found his form in recent weeks and delivered his biggest moment to date as an Arsenal player this week. Porto proved to be an awkward obstacle in Arsenal’s route to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2009/10, though Raya’s performance secured that spot.

A composed figure for much of a tense night at the Emirates, Raya was then the hero of the shootout as he saved two spot-kicks to send Arsenal through. This will do his confidence the world of good.

Goal of the Week

Martin Odegaard just oozes quality, doesn’t he?

The Arsenal captain set up his side’s winner against Porto with a wonderful bit of neat footwork and a threaded pass. Leandro Trossard did the rest to send the Gunners into the last eight for the first time in 14 years.

Miss of the Week

Lautaro Martinez is having some season for Inter Milan but the club’s leading scorer was guilty of a bad miss as last season’s runners-up crashed out of the Champions League this week.

Needing to score to keep alive his side’s shootout with Atletico Madrid, the Argentine sent his spot-kick into orbit to send the Metropolitano crazy.

A cruel moment, given his performances for the Nerazzurri this season.

Save of the Week

It was a week of stunning saves in the Champions League but none were more crucial than David Raya’s shootout stops for Arsenal.

The Spaniard guessed right to save from Wendell and Galeno, getting strong hands to two well-struck spot-kicks.

Stat of the Week

Atletico Madrid are now unbeaten in 90% of their Champions League home games under Diego Simeone.

Fortress Metropolitano.


Tweet of the Week

Barcelona just keep producing gems.

It might be economic chaos in Catalonia, but La Masia continues to bail out a bonkers boardroom.

Read – Ranking the five favourites to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or

See more – Video: Who has been the Premier League Player of the Season?

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