FA Cup Revenge and the Greatest World Football Moments of the Weekend
They say that living well is the best revenge, but for Premier League football clubs, an FA Cup fifth-round victory can be the best retribution for a league loss.
Arsenal and Manchester City found solace for recent damaging defeats to Liverpool and Chelsea, respectively, while there was also a serving of revenge in the fifth round's lower-league clash.
In addition to the world's oldest football cup competition, our weekend roundup also takes in the best continental action and some bobby dazzlers you may not have seen...
Man City Got Their Revenge on Chelsea
When they met 12 days previously at Eastlands, it was Chelsea who walked away with the spoils, but Manchester City kept their quadruple season on track and booked a place in the final eight of the FA Cup with a convincing 2-0 victory on Saturday.
Goals came from Stevan Jovetic and a recuperated Samir Nasri in a display of utter Manchester dominance. The Montenegrin forward, however, earned a booking for one of the most brazen dives you will see this season.
After the game, Jose Mourinho was in typically bullish form, simply insisting that "the best team won" while giving a Gallic shrug to the cameras.
Arsenal Overcame Liverpool Amid Penalty Controversy
Another team who found revenge from a recent defeat was Arsenal, who bounced back from their league drubbing at Liverpool last week to advance to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win at the Emirates.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring, and Lukas Podolski doubled the advantage in the 47th minute. Liverpool's fight back began when Podolski brought down Luis Suarez in the area for Steven Gerrard to convert the subsequent penalty.
Suarez was later barged over by the The Ox in what appeared to be an even clearer penalty decision, but Howard Webb's decision may have been clouded by the Uruguayan's theatrics.
A comical moment came in injury time when Daniel Sturridge tried to speed up Lukasz Fabianski's progress by tying his shoelaces for him.
With Liverpool feeling aggrieved after a good performance, the Gunners will now face Everton at home in the next round.
Nigel Clough Masterminded a Sheffield Utd FA Cup Victory
League One's Sheffield Utd are through to the final eight of the FA Cup for the first time in 10 years with a 3-1 win over Championship side Nottingham Forest.
This was yet another FA Cup match tinged with revenge, as the son of Forest legend Brian Clough (and former Forest player) was sacked by Derby in September when his Rams side lost at City Ground.
It looked as if Forest were going to disappoint the Blades after taking a 1-0 lead into the half, but The Guardian reveal that a spirited half-time team talk from Clough tipped the tie in the home side's favour. Apparently the premise of a rare derby with Sheffield Wednesday in the quarter-finals proved enough motivation to score three.
Now, Wednesday must overcome Charlton in their rescheduled clash to set up the steel-city clash.
Lacina Traore Scored a Cheeky Backheel in Everton's Win over Swansea
Lacina Traore's debut for Everton couldn't have got off to a much better start. After just four minutes, the on-loan Ivorian slotted into Gerhard Tremmel's goal with a very cheeky backheel.
Toffees substitute Steven Naismith also had an eventful day, coming on in the 60th minute, scoring his fourth goal in five games a few minutes later, winning the penalty for the third goal and then leaving the field within 30 minutes with a concussion.
Barcelona Destroyed Rayo Vallecano
The three-way tie at the top of La Liga remained after Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all picked up three points, but it was the Catalans who enjoyed the most devastating victory.
Relegation contenders Rayo Vallecano were thoroughly outplayed at the Nou Camp, where some particularly beautiful goals were scored. Most notable was Messi's sublime chip that made it 2-0 and the incredible passing move that Pedro converted for the fourth.
Messi's brace put his total Barcelona goal tally at 334, the highest amount any player has scored for a single Spanish club.
Villarreal's Clash with Celta Vigo Featured a Tear Gas Cameo
Villarreal's progress toward Champions League qualification hit a bump in the road on Saturday evening when they lost 2-0 at home to Celta Vigo.
The game was marred, however, when a fan threw a tear gas canister onto the field shortly after Fabian Orellana put the visitors ahead. The device—the same kind used by riot police—caused the match to be temporarily suspended, with Celta Vigo goalkeeper Yoel Rodriguez Oterino reduced to fits of coughing when it landed near him. According to ESPNFC, the stadium announcer at El Madrigal asked fans to evacuate.
The club president has condemned the action, but the Valencian side are likely to face punishment.
Cruz Azul's Marco Fabian Scored a 93rd-Minute Golazo
Leo Messi cannot claim to have scored the best chip of the weekend.
That honour belongs to Marco Fabian, who found the net in the 93rd minute of Cruz Azul's 1-0 victory over Puebla in spectacular fashion.
The 24-year-old brought down a long ball, wrong-footed the defender marking him and launched a superb strike over the keeper to win the game.
Sascha Traut Put Away a Stunning Volley in the German Second Tier
In Germany, midfielder Sascha Traut put his name on the stunning golazo map with a perfect long-range volley.
In the fourth minute of VfR Aalen's 2. Bundesliga clash with Energie Cottbus, the ball fell to Traut from a corner. Standing around 25 yards out, the 28-year-old hit it first time and put the ball beyond reach of the keeper.
For the German second division fans out there keeping score, the match finished 2-2 when Cottbus managed a 93rd-minute equaliser.
Thanks to the folks at 101GG for spotting this one.
The Vasco-Flamengo Ghost Goal
Let's wrap up the weekend roundup with an incident that will surely vindicate the leagues that have embraced goal-line technology.
Vasco da Gama lost 2-1 to Flamengo at the Maracana on Sunday, but they have good reason to contest the result. A 12th-minute free-kick from Douglas hit the underside of the bar and landed comfortably inside the goalmouth before bouncing out, but no goal was given.
The extra official on the line couldn't have had a better view of the incident, but he still decided to give the defence the benefit of the doubt. If this was the Premier League, the Gigante da Colina would have taken the lead without any questions.
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