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By the numbers: Messi's 51st hat-trick, Salah's long scoreless streak

Lionel Messi celebrates after putting Barcelona ahead 1-0 in their Champions League tie with Lyon.
Lionel Messi scored his 33rd La Liga hat-trick in the course of Barcelona's 4-1 win away to Real Betis.

There's Lionel Messi, and then there's the rest. The weekend's football in Europe seemed to suggest so, although one must put this helpful caveat: Juventus gave Cristiano Ronaldo the weekend off.

Here are the best numbers from the weekend:


33

Lionel Messi scored his 33rd La Liga hat-trick in the course of Barcelona's 4-1 win away to Real Betis, also his 45th hat-trick for Barcelona across all competitions. He also has six hat-tricks for the Argentina national team, taking his overall tally in competitive...

Numbers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tastes first league defeat, Lionel Messi scores in 800th game

Steve Nicol breaks down Manchester United's first Premier League loss under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.
Craig Burley and Alejandro Moreno were in full agreement that Raheem Sterling's first goal against Watford should never have been allowed to stand.
Steve Nicol examines what is behind Mohamed Salah's recent struggles and what he and Jurgen Klopp can do to sort the issues out.
Luuk De Jong scored his 21st league goal of the season as PSV Eindhoven remain in control of top spot in the Dutch Eredivisie.

While Liverpool kept pace with Manchester City, Arsenal beat Manchester United to keep the top four race alive. In La Liga, Barcelona continued their dominance, while Kareem Benzema helped Real Madrid get back to winning ways after their humiliating Champions League defeat. Elsewhere, Juventus remained unbeaten in the league, while Bayern Munich scored six against Wolfsburg to leapfrog Dortmund to the top of the Bundesliga. Here are the best numbers from the weekend's action.


0

Juventus are still...

By the numbers: Barcelona move ahead of Real Madrid for the first time in 87 years

It was a weekend of derbies and fierce cross-country rivalries. The North-London derby was feisty, controversial and ended 1-1, the Merseyside one was tamer and ended 0-0, while the Rome edition saw Lazio absolutely smash Roma 3-0. Across in Spain, the Clasico saw Barcelona run out 1-0 winners at Real Madrid, while in a brilliantly-manic edition of the great Italian north-south rivalry, Juventus clung onto a 2-1 win at Napoli.

Here are the best stats from the weekend action:


4

This is the first...

Huddersfield's new boss Jan Siewert announced by doppelganger 'Martin from Wakefield'

Huddersfield lost 3-0 at home to Man City on Sunday without a manager in the dugout, following David Wagner's departure last week.

By all accounts Jan Siewert, head coach of Borussia Dortmund's second string, was being lined up by the Terriers to step into Wagner's wake. And word quickly spread that Siewart was in the crowd to watch his new side take on City at the John Smiths' Stadium, which sparked a race among the attending media outlets to spot him up in the terraces.

Sky Sports even sent a reporter ...

By the numbers: Messi hits 50, De Gea notches up 100

What a weekend of football.

Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to get substituted as Maurizio Sarri absolutely lost his plot on the touchline (as would be expected of anyone in his situation) and Chelsea went on to lose 3-4 on penalties to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final. Liverpool and Manchester United hobbled their way to an uninspiring 0-0 draw, meaning the Merseysiders now lead City by a point atop the Premier League. Arsenal beat Southampton 2-0 to climb a point over United and into fourth....

Weekend numbers: Ronaldo's missed 50, flying Reds and another PogBrace

The FC crew answer your tweets on the length of Unai Emery's honeymoon at Arsenal, Neil Warnock's success at Cardiff, New Year's resolutions and more.
Manchester City beat Southampton to end their losing run, but Shaka Hislop and Steve Nicol examine why teams are no longer afraid of the champions.
Stewart Robson and Peter Walton discuss the big refereeing decisions from the weekend's football action.
ESPN take a look back at a year Paul Pogba will never forget.

Liverpool ended the year with a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal, while Manchester United continued their impressive start under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, brushing aside Bournemouth 4-1. Over in Italy, Juventus entered the winter after a VAR-controversy fueled 2-1 win over Sampdoria thanks to a brace from... who else, Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Here, then, are the best of the numbers from the last bit of footballing action in 2018.


6

Roberto Firmino's hat trick is the sixth in fixtures between Liverpool and Arsenal...