Soccer: Barca, Arsenal and Monaco buoyed by Sanchez, Bony, Carrasco
The weekend saw a lot of football all over Europe and the results were exciting to say the least. While Alexis Sanchez scored a hat-trick to lift Barcelona to a 4-0 win over Elche which took them back to the top of La Liga on Sunday, Juventus ended second-placed AS Roma's unbeaten run with an emphatic 3-0 win to go eight points clear at the top as the visitors had two men sent off in less than a minute.
Here is a quick round-up of the players who starred for their teams on the action-packed weekend.
In Spain, Alexis Sanchez pumped in a hat-trick to help Barcelona beat Elche 4-0 and put them top of La Liga on goal difference ahead of Atletico Madrid, who overcame Malaga 1-0.
Despite missing Lionel Messi and Neymar, it was one-way traffic for Barca who took the lead early on through Sanchez and Pedro was also on target after 15 minutes.
Xavi Hernandez missed a penalty before Sanchez added another and completed his hat-trick with a free kick.
It was harder work for Atletico to overcome a defensive Malaga but they eventually broke the deadlock through Koke in the second half.
Barca and Atletico both have 49 points, eight more than third-placed Real Madrid, who face Celta Vigo on Monday
Image: Alexis Sanchez of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal to complete his hat-trick agaisnt Elche FC during their La Liga match at Camp Nou in Barcelona on Sunday
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images
Bony helps Swansea stun United in FA Cup
The FA Cup in England saw some stunning results and the one player who made the difference was Wilfried Bony.
Swansea’s Bony scored a 90th-minute header saw Manchester United slump to a 2-1 home defeat in the FA Cup third round.
United have now fallen to their fourth defeat at Old Trafford in six matches.
In the other match, goals by Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky fired Premier League leaders Arsenal to a 2-0 win over local rivals Tottenham Hotspur while Chelsea and Liverpool also reached the fourth round.
Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers.
Image: Wilfried Bony of Swansea City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the FA Cup against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Pirlo stars as Juventus beat Roma
In Italy, Serie A leaders Juventus ended second-placed AS Roma's unbeaten run with an emphatic 3-0 win on Sunday to go eight points clear at the top as the visitors had two men sent off in less than 60 seconds.
Arturo Vidal gave Juventus the lead in the 17th minute and Leonardo Bonucci turned in Andrea Pirlo's free kick three minutes after halftime to put the hosts in control.
Roma imploded late in the game after Daniele De Rossi was sent off for a two-footed lunged tackle on Giorgio Chiellini in the 75th minute.
Pirlo floated over another majestic free kick, Bonucci headed towards goal and Leandro Castan punched the ball away and was sent off. Mirko Vucinic fired in the penalty to complete the scoring and seal Juve's 10th successive league win.
Juventus have 49 points from 18 games with Roma on 41.
Image: Andrea Pirlo (left) of FC Juventus and Francesco Totti of AS Roma vie for possession during the Serie A match at Juventus Arena in Turin on Sunday
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Carrasco to Monaco's rescue
Things looked shaky for French club Monaco until Yannick Ferreira Carrasco scripted a change in fortune.
Carrasco helped Monaco rally to a 3-2 away win against third division side Vannes OC to reach the last 32 of the French Cup on Sunday.
Monaco twice came from behind and Carrasco netted the winner four minutes from time after Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez had cancelled our the locals' advantage.
Lorient were the only Ligue 1 team to be eliminated by lower division opponents as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at amateurs Yzeure, who play in the fourth division.
Paris St Germain's game at Stade Brest, which was scheduled on Saturday, was postponed until Tuesday (1915 GMT) because of bad weather.
Image: AS Monaco's Yannick Ferreira Carrasco is congratulated by his team-mate James Rodriguez (left) after scoring
Photographs: Vincent Kessler/Reuters