This season, the group-stage fixtures of the UEFA Champions League witnessed some remarkable performances from defenders. While some of them dug deep to get their team out of trouble, others pitched in with decisive goals and assists.
Today, we will take a quick look at five defenders who made the UEFA Champions League group stage memorable.
Here are the top five defenders who have impressed in the UEFA Champions League group stage this season:
#5 Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
This season, the UEFA Champions League has a sea of talented defenders at its disposal. Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold rightfully belongs to the top echelon of said gifted individuals.
Liverpool were one of three teams, alongside Ajax and Bayern Munich, to attain a 100 per cent winning record in the UEFA Champions League group stage this season. And while Alexander-Arnold played in only half of those matches, he helped Liverpool come out on top in each of the three encounters.
The England international’s first UEFA Champions League assist this season came against AC Milan on matchday one. Alexander-Arnold’s shot on target caught Milan defender Fikayo Tomori off guard and he ended up bundling it into his own net.
Alexander-Arnold’s other two assists came in the matchday four clash with Atletico Madrid. Liverpool thoroughly dominated their Spanish opposition at Anfield and cruised to a 2-0 win.
Alexander-Arnold set up Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane’s first-half goals to ensure a comfortable victory.
#4 Thiago Silva
UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea failed to head into the Round of 16 as Group H winners, courtesy of their 3-3 draw with Zenit on matchday six.
Except for the masterclass they produced in the 4-0 win against Juventus on matchday four, Chelsea rarely managed to be overpowering. And had it not been for Thiago Silva’s game-reading skills, qualifying for the next round would have been a lot more complicated.
The Blues managed two narrow 1-0 wins, against Zenit and Malmo on matchday one and four, respectively. Former Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva fired on all cylinders in both fixtures.
The Brazilian was a rock at the back for the Blues and expertly cut out the passing lanes. He also used his leadership skills to organize the Chelsea backline, making sure there weren’t any surprises.
Although not necessarily known for his creativity, Silva managed to get one assist to his name in the UEFA Champions League this season.
The 37-year-old set up Andreas Christensen for Chelsea’s opener in the 4-0 win over Malmo on matchday three.