Wayne Rooney once again lifted some of the pressure off Louis Van Gaal by firing Manchester United to victory in the North-West derby with arch rivals Liverpool.
It was a scrappy encounter at Anfield that was settled with a 78th minute strike by Wayne Rooney – his fifth goal in four games.
It was also the England skipper’s first goal at Anfield since 2005.
Liverpool had the better chances, but failed to convert past the impressive David De Gea between the United sticks.
A victory against their long-standing rivals was the perfect tonic for under pressure Louis Van Gaal and his men, who moved up to fifth, seven points behind joint leaders Arsenal and Leicester.
WayneRooney</a> is in a class of his own after the weekend's action: <a href="https://t.co/KIaDHoBjXb">https://t.co/KIaDHoBjXb</a> <a href="https://t.co/S03lGHycx2">pic.twitter.com/S03lGHycx2</a></p>— Premier League (premierleague) January 18, 2016
Meanwhile in the Netherlands Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven locked horns in a battle for second place in the Eredivisie.
PSV broke the deadlock on 49 minutes when Mexican Hector Moreno offered himself the perfect 28th birthday present sweeping home from close range.
Luciano Narsingh then fired past Kenneth Vermeer six minutes from time to seal a 2-0 victory, which left the Dutch champions trailing league leaders Ajax by three points.
They also opened up a healthy five-point gap over their Sunday opponents in third.
Up and down
In this week’s up and down segment we have two from each side so let’s have a look.
John Terry is up after becoming the highest scoring defending in English Premier League history at the weekend.
His late equaliser against Everton saw him reach a career 40 Premier league goals.
Shame his milestone match began with an own goal.
John Terry on his future at Chelsea: “I want to be here. I want to finish my career here, of course.” pic.twitter.com/uh745r7eXg— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) January 18, 2016
Juventus join Terry on our up list after the Serie A champions thrashed Udinese 4-0 for the club’s 10th consecutive win in the league.
Juve have powered their way from 12th position in late October to 2nd overall two points behind leaders Napoli.
Real Madrid and city rivals Atletico Madrid have both been handed a two-window transfer ban for breaching rules relating to the signing of under 18 foreign players.
The ban will come into affect once the current winter transfer window slams shut at the end of the month.
Staying in Spain and also on the down is Gary Neville, who is still hunting a first league win as coach of Valencia.
The side recently drew at home with Rayo Vallecano taking the Englishman’s league tally at Valencia to four draws and two defeats.
Road to Euro
We continue our Road to the 2016 European championships in France with one of the protagonists of the 1988 edition.
Marco Van Basten was only 23-years-old when he lead the Netherlands to the continental title.
A collective triumph that, a few months later, would allow him to add to his display cabinet the most sought after individual prize for a football player.
Marco Van Basten, who had just had his debut season at AC Milan interrupted by an ankle injury, started the Euro 1988 opening match on the bench. He will end the tournament as top scorer with 5 goals.
A hat-trick against England, a semi-final winner against West Germany and a spectacular volley to see off the Soviet Union in the final. The Dutchman scooped the Golden Boot and would win the first of his three Ballon d’Or awards that year.
Striker battle: Van Basten vs— Thebesten Football (@TB10Football) January 15, 2016
petercrouch</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/football_oranje">football_oranje
InstantBPLNews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/foolofsoccer">foolofsoccerhttps://t.co/HPcceIfyCLpic.twitter.com/ZbkdQssIGq
Berlusconi: “Van Basten es mi favorito entre los jugadores que ganaron el balón de oro” pic.twitter.com/w1XTbrUvwf— World AC Milan. (@WorldACMilan) November 1, 2015
We might be wrong
There are some high-profile clashes on the menu across Europe for next weekend. Here you have the predictions for these selected matches from our sports newsroom. If you don’t agree, send us yours, using #TheCornerScores.
Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
Juventus 1-2 Roma
Mönchengladbach 1-4 Dortmund
We leave you today with the incredible Hulk and his cheeky penalty kick during a training session at Zenit St Petersburg. Who knows, this might just catch on and become the new technique to fool the goalkeepers. (see video above)