Top 10 Performances from Around the World for Weekend of August 9-10
Another weekend of top-class action has come and gone in the football world, and plenty of sides have put in performances worthy of mention and memory.
We've scoured the globe for you to pick out 10 of the best team displays, impressive results and all-round good performances to wrap up a weekly feature of praise and acclaim.
This week we're still mixing competitive action and preseason games, but the latter are becoming fewer, and by next week's edition we should be focusing totally on league and cup action only.
Here's the top 10 this time around.
10. Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao and Borussia Moenchengladbach are fairly well-matched teams in terms of relative popularity in their home nations, having impressive young talent in their ranks and their objectives for league positions in their respective leagues.
In the friendly between the two on Saturday, though, Athletic won out by a 3-1 scoreline despite 'Gladbach having most of the possession and chances.
Aritz Aduriz scored two headers off corners within the game's first 20 minutes, then nodded in from two yards out for his hat-trick—again after a corner—after just 23 minutes of play. The home side managed a consolation around the hour mark, but it was Bilbao's day.
Over to the Liga MX now, and Pachuca have continued their improved form from last season's Clausura tournament into this year's Apertura.
Bouncing back from a defeat last time out to Queretaro, Pachuca overcame CD Guadalajara by an impressive 3-0 scoreline.
Ariel Nahuelpan scored twice and Hirving Lozano added a last-minute third after Guadalajara had been reduced to 10 men, leaving Pachuca sixth in the fledgling table.
The Dutch Eredivisie got up and running this weekend, and two sides feature in our top 10, the first being Groningen.
They finished last season strongly, winning five in a row to take seventh place and eventually win the Europa League playoff final to ensure continental football for 2014-15 and started this domestic season well too with a comeback victory over Go Ahead Eagles.
The home side took a 2-0 lead shortly after half-time, and as the clock moved toward the hour mark that scoreline was still in place—but a big final 30 minutes for Groningen turned the game entirely. Tjaronn Chery, Michael de Leeuw and Jarchinio Antonia all scored, the latter three minutes from time, to give Groningen a 3-2 victory.
Sticking with the Eredivisie, Ajax recorded an impressive—though far more routine—win of their own.
They faced last season's sixth-place team, Vitesse, at home and ran out 4-1 winners, with new signing Nick Viergever opening the scoring on his league debut.
Lasse Schone also scored twice, and Mike van der Hoorn netted another as Ajax quickly recaptured their spot on top of the Eredivisie league table.
6. Real Salt Lake
Over to MLS now and Real Salt Lake put in a good performance to overcome DC United by a comfortable 3-0 scoreline.
Joao Plata and Chris Schuler, the latter with a brace, scored the goals as Real moved up to second place in the Western Conference, the same position as DC occupy in the Eastern. It was a missed opportunity for DC though, with first-place Sporting KC also being defeated over the weekend.
Plata's goal was his 10th of the campaign.
5. Atletico Madrid
Another friendly game now and Atletico Madrid of La Liga in Spain battered German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg by a hefty 5-1 scoreline.
Raul Garcia headed in from a corner inside the first quarter of an hour before doubling the lead 10 minutes into the second half by side-footing home a pull-back from Koke. Mario Mandzukic then won and dispatched a penalty before Naldo pulled one back by thumping in a deflected free-kick.
Koke curled in a brilliant goal, the match's fourth goal in 15 minutes, before Hector Hernandez wrapped things up late on, tapping home after debutant Antoine Griezmann set him up.
Reims caused something of a surprise on Friday night by holding Ligue 1 champions PSG to a 2-2 draw, but Lorient then went one better on Sunday by beating runners-up Monaco 2-1, away from home.
Despite finishing 31 points behind Monaco last season, Lorient snuck a victory late on in the match after Monaco had pressed hard for a winner of their own.
Radamel Falcao continued his rehabilitation by scoring a penalty off the bench, but Valentin Lavigne scored the winner after 87 minutes.
Our final friendly performance goes to Liverpool, who hosted German Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund at Anfield on Sunday.
The Premier League runners-up were composed, creative and very quick with their attacking moves, leaving Dortmund unable to cope with Philippe Coutinho in particular, as the Reds wrapped up a thumping 4-0 win.
Daniel Sturridge scored the opener, assisted by Coutinho, before a debut goal for Dejan Lovren. Coutinho himself scored the third and was heavily involved in the sublime buildup for the fourth goal, which was eventually tapped home by Jordan Henderson.
Following on from last week's clutch of Super Cup winners around Europe, Arsenal followed suit in the Community Shield in England this weekend.
They defeated domestic league champions Manchester City by an impressive 3-0 scoreline, making fairly light work of their rivals and showing a good composure in front of goal to take the first silverware of the season.
Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud scored the goals at Wembley.
1. Zenit St. Petersburg
Just as with last week, the Russian Premier League sees a side take top spot after another goal-fest in Eastern Europe.
Zenit St. Petersburg are our top picks this time around, picking up their second win in two games of the new season by smashing apart Torpedo Moscow by an incredible 8-1 scoreline.
There was little undeserved about it either as Zenit dominated throughout and created a host of chances, with the goals falling for Igor Smolnikov, Rondon (twice), Hulk (twice), Oleg Shatov and Aleksandr Kerzhakov (twice).
Unsurprisingly, Zenit top the Russian Premier League on goal difference after that performance!