Greatest World Football Moments of the Weekend: Berardi Scores 4, SAS Returns
Welcome to the latest edition of our greatest moments of the world football weekend—a roundup show, of sorts, bringing you the true highlights of the action.
We saw Liverpool overcome Stoke City in a wild encounter, Athletic Club hit Almeria for six and Milan lose yet again...but what does it all mean?
Read on to find out!
M'Baye Niang's Goalscoring Start
Monaco returned to action on Friday evening away to Montpellier, and with the entire country watching they slipped up in the race for the Ligue 1 title.
Even with Radamel Falcao back fit and firing les Monegasques were unable to conjure much in the final third, and it was Milan loan star M'Baye Niang who stole the show with his first league goal for la Paillade.
He'd been marginalised at the San Siro this season so Massimiliano Allegri allowed him to leave on a temporary basis. More of the same please M'Baye!
Reims' Late Double vs. Lille Helps PSG Gain Ground
Lille, a team who had only conceded eight Ligue 1 goals prior to Sunday, were drawing 0-0 with Reims late on in Sunday night's final clash of the weekend.
It seemed destined for a stalemate, but with 15 minutes to go the home side managed a quick-fire double to condemn les Dogues to a significant defeat.
Odair Fortes and Grzegorz Krychowiak's strikes allowed Paris Saint-Germain to open up a five-point gap at the top of the table, and with that in place they'll take some catching.
Athletic Club Smash 6 Past Helpless Almeria
Athletic Club suffered a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking 2-0 loss to bitter regional enemies Real Sociedad just one week ago.
Heading into the game against Almeria there was talk of bubbles being burst and a potential first loss at home, but they responded in ideal fashion: smashing six strikes past Almeria in an incredible attacking display.
Goals from Mikel Rico, Aymeric Laporte, Ibai Gomez, Ander Herrera and Aritz Aduriz did the damage.
Adam Johnson's Spectacular Hat-Trick
Adam Johnson has been in and out of the Sunderland team this season due to heavily fluctuating performances, but it all came together on one glorious afternoon this weekend as the former Manchester City man bagged a crazy hat-trick against Fulham.
His first was a super free-kick from distance, his second a slide-rule finish from an acute angle and his third a cool-as-you-like penalty in the dying minutes of the game.
The Black Cats haven't had much joy on their travels this season, but Saturday was a day to remember for player and fans alike.
Domenico Berardi Scores 4 as Sassuolo Down Milan
Milan travelled to Sassuolo on Sunday with a golden chance to win two consecutive Serie A games for the first time this season.
Naturally, and in keeping with the trend of their season, they blew it in the most Rossoneri way possible: losing 4-3 to a team on a four-game losing streak, with all four scored by a 19-year-old.
It was a night Domenico Berardi will never forget, the launching of a promising career. He's an Internazionale fan too, so it means just that little bit more!
The Return of SAS
Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez are back in business together.
The Uruguayan has held the fort extremely well on his own while his partner recovers from an ankle ligament injury, and it didn't take the former Manchester City man long to get back in on the goalscoring act.
After being substituted on in the 66th minute, Sturridge proceeded to tee up Suarez for his second goal and smash one in himself at the second time of asking.
Beware, Premier League defences.
For the first time in what seems like two months, Southampton actually won a game they'd been playing well in for 90 minutes.
The Christmas and New Year period was far from kind to the club, as despite good performances and strong individual showings, Mauricio Pochettino's men were somehow ending most games without three points.
Saints dominated possession and recorded nearly 20 shots on goal, but it took until the 66th minute for Adam Lallana to break the deadlock. The relief on everyone's face was telling.
Mehdi Benatia's Goal
Roma's response to losing comfortably to Juventus was always going to be heavily scrutinised, so it's fortunate that the team decided to step up and slice Genoa to shreds.
The 4-0 victory was well deserved after putting in a stunning showing, and it was Mehdi Benatia's goal—the fourth and final one—that caught the eye.
It was his fifth of the season, a remarkable record for a centre-back, and affirmed his obvious goalscoring threat alongside his remarkable defensive abilities.
Some questions were raised this summer when he made an expensive move from Udinese. All questions have been answered thus far.