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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...

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Barcelona stay top, Juventus climb, Liverpool return

Shaka Hislop presents his weekly Power Rankings, where quite a few Premier League clubs find their way into the top 10.
Craig Burley refuses to name Barcelona Champions League favourites after their big win over Lyon, due to their defensive inconsistency.
Barcelona went behind early to Rayo Vallecano, but responded with three, including Lionel Messi's goal in his 800th career game.

Lionel Messi made sure that Barcelona's No. 1 spot was not in danger, while Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Juventus' upward movement.

Dropping out: Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV.

Champions League belongs to Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus come back to beat Atletico

TURIN, Italy -- Last month in Madrid, Atletico Madrid were entirely dominant against a Juventus side that offered absolutely no attacking threat and won 2-0. On Wednesday in Turin, Juventus were entirely dominant against an Atletico side that offered absolutely no attacking threat and won 3-0 to advance, seemingly against the odds.

This was the archetypal two-legged European tie, a contest that outlines the difficulty of playing away from home in a hostile atmosphere. It was essentially won by the...

Six months after Ronaldo was accused of rape, why is the case in legal limbo?

Ronaldo was accused in September of raping an American woman in Las Vegas back in 2009. Police have since reopened the investigation.

ON A WARM October day in Las Vegas, we slip our car into a parking lot wedged between two buildings, then push open the door to the lawyer's office. My colleague, Nicole Noren, and I figure this will be simple. We are in Nevada reporting on the rape allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo, and we want to meet Ronaldo's attorneys, as well as the lawyers representing Kathryn Mayorga, the woman accusing him.

Normally, this sort of meeting is pretty straightforward for journalists. Lawyers, particularly...

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.
Despite another routine win for Barcelona in La Liga, questions remain over Philippe Coutinho who underwhelmed again for the Spanish giants.
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...

Ronaldo getting frustrated as he longs for Juventus to play more like Real Madrid

It's not often that you can say events at Napoli's San Paolo stadium closely resembled those at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, but that's exactly what happened last weekend as the behaviour of one football superstar mirrored that of an NBA contemporary.

Granted, one of Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus teammates did not push him in the back in the hope it might make him defend in the way the Los Angeles Lakers' Kyle Kuzma appeared to do to LeBron James against the Clippers. No one would dare. But...