Greatest World Football Moments of the Weekend: Forest, Sheff Utd, Juve Win
What were the greatest footballing moments of the weekend?
England saw a full schedule of FA Cup third round fixtures—a privilege to take part in for most *cough* Paul Lambert *cough*—while Spain and Italy resumed domestic league action.
The Bundesliga is yet to continue so there's no action from Germany, but we've got plenty to keep you warm for the time being.
Sheffield United Rock Villa Park
Sheffield United fans traveled in their thousands to Villa Park on Saturday, hitting the M1 with gusto in quiet expectancy of a result.
They were on the back foot for much of the game but held a great defensive shape, and after Christian Benteke spurned two easy chances, took control of proceedings via a deflected strike and a superb long-range effort.
The "Blade Army" have endured plenty of disappointed in recent years, but this was a day to remember for the 6,000 that made the trip.
Clean Sheets Galore
Upon culmination of Real Sociedad 2-0 Athletic Club, La Liga capped off a full weekend of eight matches with a colossal eight clean sheets.
In 2012, B/R's Jonathan Wilson outlined the rising number of goals per game in the Premier League for The Guardian. Those numbers have continued to increase, yet the Spanish top division has just posted a complete set of shutouts—remarkable stuff.
What's the reason? Are the best defenders all in Spain? Whatever the answers, defensive enthusiasts are celebrating today.
La Real Win the Derby
There are few derbies in world football played with the intensity of this all-Basque encounter, and Real Sociedad made a statement in beating Athletic Club on Sunday night.
Despite La Real's rise to Champions League relevancy and adoring looks worldwide, it's been los Leones who've stolen the Liga spotlight this season by putting together a consistent campaign.
Txuri-Urdin hearts are still sore from the Marcelo Bielsa days at Athletic—a season in which they did the double over their rivals—and this is the start of the revenge.
Juventus Show Roma Who's Boss
Juventus and Roma met for a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday night, with both clubs in stupendous form and the Giallorossi standing unbeaten.
That run, though, ended in subdued fashion, as after starting brightly, Rudi Garcia's men fell to a 3-0 loss and sustained two red cards.
The Bianconeri now sit eight points clear at the top of Serie A—does anyone have a hope of catching them?
Wilfried Bony's Winner
Wilfried Bony's header in the 89th minute at Old Trafford condemned Manchester United to yet another home loss on Sunday.
ESPN's Musa Okwonga summed the situation up perfectly after the game, suggesting the Theatre of Dreams is now more like Margate than the Mordor-like figure it once was.
Swansea move into the fourth round of the FA Cup after beating United on their own patch for the first time in their history. David Moyes exited to boos.
Kaka made it a century of goals in the famous red and black of Milan on Monday afternoon.
He netted from an acute angle on a rapier-like counterattack led by Urby Emanuelson in the first half, giving Milan a valuable 1-0 lead at half-time.
The Brazilian playmaker held up a custom-made shirt to celebrate his achievement.
Nottingham Forest 5-0 West Ham
On paper, West Ham visiting Nottingham Forest was always going to be a potential "Cupset" in the making, but 5-0? Are you kidding me?
Sam Allardyce sent the kids out to be embarrassed and their in-form Championship opponents obliged; Sam Diss of The Sabotage Times summed up the debacle perfectly, then proceeded to call for the manager to walk away.
Take nothing away from Forest, though. Jamie Paterson's hat-trick was sublime and the performance overall hinted of Premier League quality.