Barcelona star, Dortmund woe, Milan glory, Messi boosts PSG, FA Cup, AFCON drama: Weekend Review

Barcelona show out in 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid (3:02)

Barcelona get goals from Jordia Alba, Gavi, Ronald Araujo and Dani Alves as they outmatch Atletico Madrid in 4-2 win. (3:02)

Wow, did you catch all that weekend action? If not, do not despair: ESPN will tell you about Barcelona's best performance of the season and Borussia Dortmund's worst, as well as a to-and-fro Milan derby, Paris Saint-Germain scoring five and Senegal finally claiming AFCON glory. Oh, and we have some FA Cup heroics as well!

Here are Sam Marsden, Derek Rae, Andrew Cesare Richardson, Julien Laurens and Ed Dove with what you need to know, with five of the most significant moments from the FA Cup fourth round mixed in.

Go to: Brilliant Barca | Dortmund dumped | Milan magic | Prime PSG | Senegal succeed

New-look Barcelona deliver Xavi's biggest win

Thanks to a thrilling 4-2 win over reigning champions Atletico Madrid 4-2 at Camp Nou, Barcelona ended the weekend in the Champions League places in LaLiga for the first time since Xavi Hernandez took over in November.

Atletico briefly led through Yannick Carrasco before Barca scored four without reply, with Jordi Alba, Gavi, Ronald Araujo and Dani Alves finding the net on a day that also saw minutes for January signings Adama Traore, who impressed from the start, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who came off the bench.

It was not entirely straightforward and the party atmosphere among home fans turned to nerves during the final 30 minutes after ex-Blaugrana hero Luis Suarez pulled Atletico within two and Alves was sent off, following a VAR review, for a foul on Carrasco. However, Barca held strong.

Xavi lauded two fantastic performances at full-time: One when it was 11 vs. 11 and another when his side was were forced to dig in with 10 men to close out the win that takes Barca above Atletico and into the top four.

This "could be a turning point," said Xavi, and there is positivity around the club; January's business added depth to the extent that Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele, who was booed on his return to the squad after failing to secure a move, on the bench.

For Atletico, meanwhile, this was a sixth defeat in the league this season and another uncharacteristic defensive display, with Diego Simeone admitting after the game: "We've been defending extraordinarily well for 10 years and this year we aren't doing what we usually do." -- Marsden

Boro's controversial strike sets up Old Trafford upset

Manchester United were 1-0 up and had had chances aplenty to extend their lead, but Middlesbrough drew level through Matt Crooks -- after Duncan Watmore appeared to control the ball with his hand -- and went on to spring a surprise by winning a penalty shootout.

Leverkusen thrash Dortmund with stunning display

In a fixture synonymous with goals, the expected attacking avalanche arrived but, on a raw, rainy afternoon, it was a one-sided affair as Leverkusen buried their hosts with a clinical display of slick football. Dortmund, without the injured Erling Haaland, looked punchless.

In the 16th minute, Dortmund's Dan-Axel Zagadou fell asleep to set in motion a bizarre chain of events that led to a Manuel Akanji own goal opening the scoring. That was soon offset by a more orthodox own goal at the other end, as Jeremie Frimpong inadvertently got in the way of a Thomas Meunier head flick.

The rest of the story belonged to Leverkusen and you will do well to find a better team goal than the fluent, vibrant counter, which restored the away side's lead. Requiring just seven deft touches and only nine seconds, it ended with a Florian Wirtz first-time finish.


Bayer Leverkusen blasts Borussia Dortmund 5-2

Bayer Leverkusen solidifies its hold on a Champions League spot by thrashing Borussia Dortmund 5-2.

Robert Andrich netted a beautiful curling free kick before the half-hour mark and the misery continued for Dortmund after the interval. A fulminating drive by Leverkusen colossus and captain Jonathan Tah -- with his weaker left foot -- effectively put the game beyond the reach of the Schwarzgelben, then Moussa Diaby expertly got on the end of Frimpong's cross to make it 5-1.

The return of Giovanni Reyna after five months out, as well as a late goal from Steffen Tigges, was scant consolation for Marco Rose's men, who remain second but lie nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich. As for the victors, Gerardo Seoane's men are hot on Dortmund's heels in third, just five points back. -- Rae

Kane continues return to form in style

Revitalised since the arrival of Antonio Conte as manager, Harry Kane added two more goals to his season tally as Tottenham saw off Brighton. The striker's first of the game -- a spectacular effort from 20 yards -- was an illustration of his confidence.

Milan's derby win tightens Serie A title race

Milan's comeback in the Derby della Madonnina might appear shocking to some, but take a closer look and there were signs that Inter have not been themselves in recent weeks.

True, the defending Serie A champions Inter had won nine of their previous 10 league games and are fighting on three fronts under first-year manager Simone Inzaghi, but a scarcely deserved, pre-international break win over Venezia came via a last-minute Edin Dzeko goal and followed equally narrow victories over Torino and Lazio, plus a draw at Atalanta.

None of which is to say Inter are creaking, but the Italian title race is far less a foregone conclusion than it appeared before kickoff at San Siro or after Ivan Perisic opened the scoring just before half-time.

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Milan's win was sealed by Olivier Giroud's double -- the goals coming three minutes apart -- but, while the French striker will get much of the attention, his manager Stefano Pioli deserves most of the plaudits.

Previously considered a journeyman coach, who lasted less than a full season in charge at Inter several years ago, the 56-year-old has mixed veterans like Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a young core and transformed the Rossoneri into a team capable of challenging for honours.

So often, just when it looks like collapse is inevitable, Milan pull something out of the bag and so it was this weekend as Pioli got his in-game decisions right. His side sits one point off top spot and has reason to hope for improvement on last season's second place and a first Scudetto in 11 years. -- Richardson

Elliott marks return with super goal

When Harvey Elliott suffered a serious ankle injury in September, there was concern whether he would play again this season. Not only has the Liverpool teenager worked his way to fitness within five months, he celebrated being back in action by scoring in front of the Kop.

PSG building up to Madrid meeting

Finally, and maybe at the right time, Paris Saint-Germain are looking like they are improving. Their 5-1 demolition of Lille away in the north of France on Sunday night was one of Paris' best performance of the season. Six days after a hugely disappointing loss at the Parc des Princes against Nice in the Coupe de France, Sunday was much more promising.

Ten days before their Champions League last-16 first leg against Real Madrid, Lille away was a test for the Parisiens and there was a need for them to raise their game. And they did. Collectively, the Ligue 1 leaders were strong. They pressed well, their defensive transitions were efficient and they attacked well. Even Lionel Messi shone with a goal and an assist, and we got to see the Kylian Mbappe special: on the left-hand side on the edge of the box, he curls the ball in the opposite top corner with his right foot. He loves this move and he is getting better and better at it. Lille goalkeeper Ivo Grbic couldn't do anything about it. Thibaut Courtois has been warned. -- Laurens

Rice drags West Ham back, celebrates with dance

It looked like West Ham would exit the cup at the hands of sixth-tier Kidderminster Harriers, only for Declan Rice to send the game to extra time with a driving run and emphatic finish. But what about the Michael Jackson dance to celebrate? Was it Bad or a Thriller?

Mane seals Senegal's AFCON success

Sadio Mane struck the decisive penalty as Senegal defeated Egypt 4-2 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations final in Yaounde to secure the Teranga Lions' first ever continental title.

Player of the Tournament Mane, who had a fourth-minute spot kick saved by Egypt goalkeeper Gabaski, netted Senegal's final penalty of the shootout after Edouard Mendy had saved Mohanad Lasheen's effort, with Bouna Sarr and Mohamed Abdelmonem also failing to convert for each side.

Senegal headed into to the match as the only team in AFCON history to reach two previous finals without ever winning the biennial tournament, and after falling 1-0 to Algeria in the 2019 showpiece, the first side to reach back-to-back finals since the victorious Egypt side 12 years ago.

Having been the standout side during the knockout stages -- following a turgid group-stage performance -- they enjoyed the better of the final, with Man of the Match Gabaski making a series of fine stops to maintain the parity between the pair.

However, goal-shy Egypt, who played extra-time in all four of their knockout games and had a day fewer rest than Senegal, had chances of their own, with Mendy forced into a fine extra-time save to deny Marwan Hamdy. -- Dove

Boreham Wood stun Bournemouth

The final FA Cup tie of the weekend brought the biggest shock with Boreham Wood's remarkable upset of high-flying Championship side Bournemouth. Mark Ricketts' goal secured a famous win for the fifth-tier club, whose reward is a trip to Everton in the fifth round.