Power Ranking Europe's Top 10 Players of Weekend: Hamsik, Vidal & More
We cast our minds back to the weekend's action, dissecting the best individual performances on show.
Marek Hamsik scored a brace and makes our top 10 again, but who else joins the Napoli midfielder in the headlines? Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and even Norwich City are represented here.
Read on to see who beat the cut, and enjoy the slideshow!
10. Vedad Ibisevic, Stuttgart
Stuttgart destroyed Hoffenheim 6-2 on Sunday, with Vedad Ibisevic chipping in with a cheeky hat-trick.
It means the Bosnia and Herzegovina international has now scored five goals in four games, and looks to be hitting the heights we all remember from when he played for, ironically, Hoffenheim.
He is simply a master of finding space in the box, and finishing—be it with the head or foot—comes unbelievably naturally to him.
9. Nathan Redmond, Norwich City
Nathan Redmond was a one-man wrecking crew against Southampton at the weekend, scoring the only goal in an extremely tight affair.
No one thought he'd be this good—even Chris Hughton is probably a little surprised—and the former Birmingham youngster built on his solid showing against Everton with a Man of the Match display here.
His goal, cutting in from the left and beating Artur Boruc at his near post, was sublime, and the Saints singularly failed to contain him for the full 90 minutes.
8. Glen Johnson, Liverpool
Glen Johnson put in an outstanding performance against Manchester United, contributing directly to the shutout despite being subbed with an injury.
He covered Martin Skrtel's jitters early on—before the Slovakian went on to have an imperious game—and defended extremely well against Ashley Young and Robin van Persie.
He's usually a little gung-ho, but on Sunday afternoon his timing, positional sense and instincts were incredible.
7. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Borussia Dortmund
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is up and running for Borussia Dortmund in the league, and it's remarkable how different he looks when fit and raring to go.
He scored a brace as BVB downed Eintracht Frankfurt, his first a beautiful early finish that left the 'keeper no chance, the second an unstoppable long-range strike that nestled right in the bottom corner.
This guy will make fans forget all about Mario Goetze in no time.
6. Miralem Pjanic, Roma
Miralem Pjanic is starting to show everyone why Roma were happy to let Erik Lamela go at the right price.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina man has underperformed over the past 12 months—be it to due to managerial preference, change or injury—but looks set to be a key man in the middle under Rudi Garcia.
His goal this weekend against Verona was ridiculous, chipping the 'keeper from 22 yards.
5. Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona
Cesc Fabregas had another wonderful game in midfield for Barcelona, pulling the strings in a high-pressure, pass-happy system.
He floated two beautiful balls beyond Valencia's defensive line for Lionel Messi to finish off, as Gerardo Martino's decision to try him in the Xavi role paid off.
He's starting to blossom as a Blaugrana at long last, with some suggesting it won't be long until he is the finest No. 10 in world football.
4. Marek Hamsik, Napoli
For all the investment, the acquisitions and the hoopla around appointing Rafa Benitez, it's a part of the furniture who's stepping up and making himself heard.
Slovakian genius Marek Hamsik simply cannot stop scoring, and has had a massive say in both of Napoli's imperious victories at the start of the season.
Against Chievo Verona he angled a long-distance strike into the bottom corner early on, then smashed a rebound in at the near-post in emphatic style in the second half.
3. Isco, Real Madrid
Isco was instrumental in dismantling Athletic Club on Sunday afternoon, picking up the Man of the Match award in the 3-1 win.
He scored two delightful goals, the first a close-range finish after breaching the defensive line, the second a superbly executed half-volley into the far corner of the net.
Los Leones are organised and well-drilled, and even without Ander Herrera, provided a formidable test. Isco aced it yet again.
2. Arturo Vidal, Juventus
Quietly, Juventus are putting together a brilliant start to the season.
Both Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez are huge parts of that—the latter unfortunate to miss out on this list this week—and continue to excel for the Bianconeri on a consistent basis.
The Chilean grabbed an early brace to set Antonio Conte's troops on their way to an easy victory over Lazio, grabbed an assist later on and completed an astonishing seven tackles.
1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona
Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick against Valencia, but the feeling coming away from the Mestalla was not of achievement, but missed chances.
He could have scored six, perhaps seven, goals against los Che given the glut of chances he fluffed, but Barcelona won 3-2 to stay top of La Liga and that is (technically) all that matters.
Els Blaugrana looked far more fluent than in their scratchy, sub-par win over Malaga at la Roselada, and that's down to the return of Messi to the front line.
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