FFT.comÃ¢ÂÂs Rob Burnett summarises the best and worst of the weekÃ¢ÂÂs action.. It's amazing how footballers manage to oscillate between brilliance and ineptitude, sometimes in the same match. It's time to applaud, or laugh at, what the little scamps have been up to this week.OGGY OGGY OGGY!Own goals are always a hoot, and it's first to Spain where Valencia defender Raul Albiol turns home a Valladolid cross to hand them a 2-1 win.
Watch out for the little stumble just after the ball crosses the line, as if for a split second he believes he can stop it, but then realises itÃ¢ÂÂs hopeless.
It was heartbreak hotel for Leixoes' brilliantly-named defender Elvis on Friday, when he got all shook up and tucked the ball home from six yards to help Benfica win. No doubt he was lonesome that night. Enough? Oh all right. The curious case of Liverpool FC continued at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday. After beating the mighty Real Madrid in the Bernabeu on Wednesday, the Reds then conspired to lose at Middlesbrough, who had gone a staggering 14 games without a league win.
Gareth Southgate's side were aided by Xabi Alonso scoring their first goal from a Stewart Downing corner.
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
The task is simple: stop the other lot scoring. Perhaps this rabble need a refresher courseÃ¢ÂÂ¦Newcastle shocked the St. James' Park crowd on Wednesday night by taking the lead against Manchester United.
But then a dose of their usual clownish defending gifted victory to the champions elect. Ryan TaylorÃ¢ÂÂs awful attempt at chesting the ball back to Steve Harper was his own personal contribution to a possible United quintuple, allowing Dimitar Berbatov to tuck home the winner.Meanwhile UnitedÃ¢ÂÂs Champions League opponents Inter Milan were severe given a hiding away at Sampdoria.
A sub-par side were undone 3-0, the first courtesy of a terrible mistake by Columbian Nelson Rivas, who laughingly calls himself a defender.
Mourinho might disagree after Rivas needlessly dilly-dallied on the ball long enough for Antonio Cassano to swoop in and score an easy opener.
Never mind, thereÃ¢ÂÂs always the goalkeeper. With an authoritative figure marshalling the defence from between the sticks what could go wrong? Well, this actuallyÃ¢ÂÂ¦Heerenveen sunk PSV Eindhoven 3-2 on Friday, but they were not helped by goalkeeper Brian Vandenbussche, who spilt a shot straight at PSV's Timmy Simons to net.Lecce keeper Francesco Benuzzi gathered a deflected shot by Giovanni Pasquale, but then failed dismally to hold on to the ball allowing Pasquale to pick his pocket and put Udinese 2-0 up in the 95th minute.Vitoria Setubal's Nikola Milojevic showed his distribution is about as good as the Royal Mail during a strike, when he tamely tapped a clearance to MaritimoÃ¢ÂÂs Baba Diawara, who calmly lobbed it back over him and into the net for his first of three goals in a 5-1 home win.
And this particular section of Video Stars couldn't end without a nod to Manchester United glove-man Edwin Van der Sar.
The Dutchman's astonishing record of 14 consecutive Premier League clean sheets came to the most embarrassing of ends on Wednesday, allowing Newcastle's Peter Lovenkrands to score, probably, the easiest goal of his career.
Lovenkrands: "Cheers easy"
Footballers arenÃ¢ÂÂt all a bunch of incompetent halfwits mind, this lot prove that some of them do have magic in them there bootsÃ¢ÂÂ¦Nacional striker MateusÃ¢ÂÂs 20 yard volley against Academica completed a textbook Charles Hughes move: keeper clearance, flick on, bang.
Next, how to make yourself an instant hero: Giuseppe Mascara's astonishing 45-yard volley makes it 3-0 to Catania at Palermo in the Sicilian derby.
AZ Alkmaar's Moussa DembelÃÂ© carried the ball from inside his own half and just keeps going, rounding off the scoring in a 3-0 win over Groningen.While at Feyenoord there was not one, but two crackers from Vitesse. First a fizzed free-kick from Nicky Hofs (who is on loan from Feyenoord, well done whoever authorized that move)...
... followed by a belting volley from Slovenian Dalibor Stevanovic in a 2-2 draw.Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Somen Tchoyi obviously has wings, making it 2-0 against LASK Linz from a stupidly tight angle......but not as tight as this. We've seen goals curled in from the corner of the penalty box, but not often from actually on the goal-line - like Julien Feret's effort for Nancy in a 4-1 caning at PSG.Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs Guti continues to prove an alice band is no obstacle to success, and top-cornered this free kick at Espanyol on Saturday, the first in a 2-0 win for Los Merengues.
Guti: "You don't save those"
While RealÃ¢ÂÂs rivals Barcelona are continuing to live up to their reputation as bottlers by losing again, this time 4-3 at Atletico Madrid. Barca looked to be in complete control when Thierry Henry scored a first-time 25-yard belterÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Ã¢ÂÂ¦ and they were 2-0 up after Leo Messi danced through the defence and slotted the ball past the keeper.
But Atletico fought back immediately through Manchester United reject Diego Forlan, hammering home to halve the deficit, with another from the Uruguayan and two more from strike-partner Sergio Aguero condemning the Catalans to back-to-back defeats.
Moving on, Mallorca captain Juan Arango gave the Sporting Gijon keeper no chance with this wicked free kick, earning his side a 1-0 win.
While former Birmingham City loanee Mauro ZÃÂ¡rate handed Lazio the lead against Bologna with this dead-ball strike, the first of a brace for the young Argentine forward.Back in Blighty, John Carew's nonchalant flick sent Villa into a 2-0 lead against Stoke; a lead they would eventually flush down the drain in the dying embers.
John Terry performs a pretty passable impression of a striker at Stamford Bridge, volleying home ChelseaÃ¢ÂÂs first in a 2-1 win over Wigan.
Terry: "This is how it's done Didier"
As did BoltonÃ¢ÂÂs Ricardo Gardner, who had only been on the field for a minute when he broke the deadlock with his first touch against Newcastle to secure a nervy 1-0 win for Gary MegsonÃ¢ÂÂs side.
And we'll finish with a peach from the Football League, as defender Daniel Fox seals a Coventry win at Norwich, turning Carl Cort inside ou before curling the ball around the keeper into the far corner.
Until next time...
Enjoy the weekend's games Ã¢ÂÂ and send details of any great goals or gormless gaffes to firstname.lastname@example.org