Welcome to The Corner, our weekly programme that delves into the world of football.
We start with the French topflight where a nine-man Paris Saint Germain let slip a 2-0 lead to draw with Caen at home.
We continue with Spanish football. Lionel Messi lit up the stage again. The Argentina international made his 300th La Liga appearance and celebrated it with a record-equalling 31st hat-trick.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi put the French champions in the first half lead.
But after coach Laurent Blanc had made all his substitutions the trouble started midway through the second.
Serge Aurier and Lucas limped off with injuries leaving PSG to finish with nine men.
Caen took full advantage.
Emiliano Sala’s 89th minute goal and Herve Bazile’s stoppage-time effort handed Caen a dramatic share of the spoils.
It was far from the ideal warm up for PSG ahead of their champions league last 16 tie with Chelsea on Tuesday.
There’s no stopping Lionel Messi.
The Argentine marked his 300th La Liga game with a hattrick – the 31st in all competitions which saw him tie with Telmo Zarra.
It was also his 23rd triple in the Spanish topflight which draws him level with Cristiano Ronaldo.
His latest feat came in a 5-0 victory over Levante.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner set up Neymar for the first goal and surpassed Luis Figo’s mark of 105 assists in the league.
Still only 27 Messi also increased his all-time record haul for La Liga to 269 goals.
On this day
For our “On This Day” segment we’re cheating a little as it should be During this week.
Nonetheless we go back 133 years to the 18th of February 1882.
Ireland played their first international football match. But it wasn’t quite the debut they were hoping for as they were thumped 13-0 by England.
The Irish FA had been founded two years earlier, making them the world’s fourth oldest football association after England, Scotland, and Wales.
Their inaugural match against England took place at Bloomfield Park in Belfast.
The Irish line-up that day included Samuel Johnston, who at the age of 15 years and 154 days became the youngest international debutant.
The result remains England’s all-time record win and the all-time record defeat for an Ireland team.
Up and Down
Now let’s see who has made our up and down list from events over the last week.
We take a look at German champs Bayern Munich, Slaven Bilic – the Croat coach of Besiktas in Turkey and Serie A side Napoli.
Slaven Bilic is up this week.
He continues to set the pace the Turkish topflight this season with his dynamic Besiktas side who are hunting a first league title since 2009.
They kept themselves top of the table for a second straight week with a 3-2 win over Bursaspor.
Bayern Munich maintained their 8 point cushion at the top of the Bundesliga with an 8-0 hammering of Hamburg.
Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben and Mario Götze each scored twice.
While Robert Lewandowski and Franck Ribéry completed Bayern’s biggest league win in 30 years.
Napoli make the down list this week although it’s not crisi time just yet.
The reigning Coppa Italia champions have enjoyed a dazzling run of form and after four consecutive league victories lost against Palermo missing the chance to close the gap on second-place Roma.
We Might Be Wrong
We might be wrong – well that’s an understatement after so many incorrect predictions so far – but we carry on with our mission nonetheless.
This week we’ll give it a go on some selected last 16 Champions league fixtures.
Dont forget, you can also send us your predictions using #TheCornerScores.
Paris SG 1-2 Chelsea
Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Bayern Munich
Basel 1-2 FC Porto
Schalke 1-3 Real Madrid
He’s well-respected, modest and one of the most famous and successful international football managers in the world.
And like most of us enjoys a bit of a kick around. On Bloopers this week Germany boss Joachim Löw demonstrates some of his ball skills during a training session.
Send us any funny links you come across using #TheCornerBloopers, but for now don’t give up the day job Jogi. (see clip above)
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