Greatest World Football Moments of the Weekend: BVB Win, Atletico Go Top
It was another incredible weekend of football across Europe, so forget the Super Bowl: Take this chance to look back on all the eye-popping moments over the last three days!
In Germany, records were set and certain teams miraculously remembered how to win. In Spain, there's a new club at the top of the pile. Meanwhile, in Portugal, everyone is trying desperately not to win the Liga Sagres.
Sit back and enjoy as we bring you the greatest moments of the world footballing weekend that weren't readily available to our screens in the UK.
Borussia Dortmund Win a Game
By beating Eintracht Braunschweig 2-1 on Friday night, Borussia Dortmund won their first game since November 30, 2013.
It's a sad indictment of the horrid injury luck they've experienced. A succession of ailments hit Signal Iduna Park over the first half of the season and all but ended their Bundesliga title challenge early on.
Usually, beating Braunschweig—the Bundesliga's basement club with just 12 points—by one goal would be nothing to shout about. In fact, it might even rank as a poor result.
Make no mistake, BVB squeezed through this one and were relieved to hear the whistle.
Nurnberg Win Again!
Nurnberg broke a Bundesliga record this season by failing to win any of their first 17 fixtures—a complete half-season of draws (11) and losses (six).
We can only imagine they spent the winter break soul-searching and practicing shooting, as they've come back firing and won two on the bounce.
All of a sudden, things look rosy: They're out of the relegation zone, and the elation on the faces of the players and fans when Josip Drmic converted a 90th-minute penalty to seal a 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin told the whole story.
Thiago Shatters Records
As the weeks tick by, Barcelona look more and more silly for allowing this to happen.
As per Bayern Munich's official website, Thiago Alcantara—Pep Guardiola's precious midfield technician—broke two records during the club's 5-0 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
He recorded a remarkable 185 touches of the ball over the course of 90 minutes and completed 159 successful passes.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (157) had previously held the first record, while Borussia Monchengladbach's Roel Brouwers had held the second (137).
Needless to say, it was a pretty comfortable win for the home side.
Valencia Stun Barcelona
The title race in La Liga took another twist as Barcelona fell at home to Valencia by a 3-2 scoreline.
La Blaugrana made a great start as Alexis Sanchez somehow clipped a finish from an absurd angle over goalkeeper Diego Alves' head, but los Che bit back through Daniel Parejo and Pablo Piatti.
It was Piatti's goal that exposed, once again, the fragile nature of Barca's defence. The Argentine measures in at just 5'2", and yet he was able to convert a looping header from 10 yards.
Paco Alcacer finished off a Lionel Messi-inspired comeback in the 59th minute, condemning Gerardo Martino to just his second defeat at the Camp Nou.
Atletico Madrid Go Top for the First Time Since 1996
Barcelona's loss gave Atletico Madrid the chance to move to the summit of La Liga, were they able to overcome the stern challenge of top-four chasers Real Sociedad.
They did so in style, winning 4-0 and in the process moved top for the first time since 1996, according to The Guardian.
David Villa opened the scoring before going off injured, and Diego Costa crowned a stunning physical showing by making it two. Miranda and new signing Diego made it a mauling in the closing stages.
Real Betis Renew Hope
You thought Borussia Dortmund's record was bad? Think again.
By beating Espanyol 2-0 on Sunday, Real Betis won their first Liga game since September 29, 2013. It means they went just over four whole months without winning a game in the league.
For a team who finished seventh in La Liga last season and qualified for the UEFA Europa League as a result, that is a truly astonishing record.
The victory, secured thanks to two Ruben Castro strikes late on, gives the Beticos new hope they can complete the impossible task and avoid relegation despite entering February with just 11 points.
The 'Big 3' in Portugal All Drop Points
FC Porto dropped yet more points this weekend as they fell to minnow club Maritimo 1-0, but Benfica and Sporting were unable to take full advantage of the slip.
Paulo Fonseca's men bombarded the goal but couldn't find a way through, and it was Derley's early penalty that sealed the result. With Fernando injured and Lucho Gonzalez sold, the Dragons looked very suspect in the centre.
Sporting were held to a 0-0 draw by Academia and William Carvalho picked up a suspension, meaning he will miss the game against Benfica.
The Eagles themselves drew 1-1 at Gil Vicente.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Red Card
Can anyone make a convincing argument in favour of the referee's decision here?
We're struggling, to tell the truth.
After a little goal-mouth scramble, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Gurpegi were involved in a little "coming together" off the ball. The Athletic Club defender pushed CR7 in the chest, and when he responded by nudging him in the face, Gurpegi went down like he'd been shot.
You can't raise your hands to someone's face—it's not OK—but it looked more like an affectionate stroke than anything else!
What's your take?
Remy Cabella Murders Reims
This is what Newcastle United missed out on this winter.
Remy Cabella was back to his best for Montpellier when they took on Reims this weekend, picking up two goals and an assist in a crushing win.
Defender Mohamed Fofana dallied on the ball for just a millisecond too long and Cabella was in, stormed in on goal and lifted a delicate finish over Kossi Agassa.
He did it again 10 minutes later, taking in a hopeful punt from his defence, chesting it down and lobbing the onrushing Reims 'keeper to make it 3-0.
He capped the day with an assist for M'Baye Niang's killer fourth strike.