After another round of spellbinding action across Europe’s five major leagues, a special group of players rose above the rest.
Footballers made their mark from Real Madrid to Barcelona, and Guingamp to Hertha Berlin.
Here is our selection:
Sergio Asenjo (Villarreal)
This was a day to cherish for the injury prone shot-stopper, his remarkable pair of penalty saves ensuring Villarreal earned a barely deserved 1-0 win in La Liga against Getafe.
Laudable composure and athleticism – plus a degree of luck – were on show to deny Angel Rodriguez and Jorge Molina from 12 yards.
Without him, the Yellow Submarine would have been sunk.
Davide Calabria (AC Milan)
Debut professional goals rarely come with such style.
The youth product sprung Roma’s offside trap and dinked the ball over Brazil goalkeeper Alisson in Milan’s excellent 2-0 Serie A victory in the capital. This effort came at the 42nd time of asking.
In a man-of-the-match display, the Italy under-21 international’s five tackles was the most recorded by Rino Gattuso’s resurgent Champions League-chasers, his two interceptions was only matched by Leonardo Bonucci and his 14 clearances was nine more than Lucas Biglia.
Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan)
Few would have predicted the identity of the goalscorers as Inter got back to winning ways with a 2-0 triumph against Benevento.
Luciano Spalletti’s men made hard work of the promoted side and required both centre-backs to nod in goals.
Skriniar’s opener came during a week in which the coveted Slovakia defender pledged his future to the club for “many years”. This followed strong links to the Manchester giants and Barcelona.
Jordan Torunarigha (Hertha Berlin)
There are not many 20-year-olds who can say they’ve kept a clean sheet against Bayern Munich’s phalanx of fearsome attacking weapons.
The Germany youth international can add his name to this exclusive list after a committed display during Saturday’s goalless draw which denied the runaway Bundesliga leaders a club-record 15th consecutive victory.
Torunarigha led the way for mid-table Hertha with four tackles, five interceptions and eight clearances. The only blot was a pass accuracy of 43.8 per cent as he bombed the ball up from the back.
Theo Hernandez (Real Madrid)
Madrid’s left flank was lethal in the 4-0 dismantling of Alaves – and Hernandez played a big part.
Running out against the side for whom he excelled on loan from Atletico Madrid last term, the 20-year-old provided a constant outlet for Wales superstar Gareth Bale. In his first consecutive La Liga starts since September, he also produced an excellent last-ditch tackle to ensure a clean sheet was saved.
This saw atone for the meek clearance against Leganes in midweek which led to a goal.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio)
A remarkable talent is emerging from The Eternal City.
His brace in the 3-0 win at relegation-threatened Sassuolo saw coach Simone Inzaghi predict a “rosy future” for the man valued at €100 million (Dh453.3m). At 22, the Serbia international is also the youngest midfielder to score at least nine goals in the top five European leagues this season.
His first effort was curled home from 20 yards, while he later used his formidable height to nod home soon after the break.
Lucas Deaux (Guingamp)
You wait nearly a year to score, and then two come around at once – this was the scenario for the seasoned defensive midfielder this weekend.
His interventions were twice required to peg back bottom-placed Metz in an entertaining 2-2 draw in Ligue 1. The 29-year-old’s second rose the roof at Stade du Roudourou as he showed unforeseen predatory instincts to follow in a prospective shot from centre-back Christophe Kerbrat in the 86th minute.
Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)
Barca fans got their first genuine sighting this weekend of what they can expect from the £142m (Dh733.1m) January buy.
Coutinho was superb in the 6-1 thrashing of Girona on the left-hand side of head coach Ernesto Valverde’s 4-4-2 formation. The Brazil playmaker fired in a trademark, missile-guided first La Liga goal from the edge of the penalty box and produced a divine piece of play for ex-Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez’s second just before half-time.
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
It is little more than three months since the Uruguay striker was being written off as a spent force – how times change.
Suarez ruthlessly plundered a hat-trick against fellow Catalan side Girona, which was his first of the season. He showed poise to immediately level the visitor’s shock opener, his predatory skills on show to finish off assists from Coutinho and fellow new boy Ousmane Dembele.
With 20 goals in 22 top-flight games this term, there is plenty of life in the 31-year-old.
Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
It feels strange to say it about a striker who moved for £75m (Dh387.2m) last summer and has already made more than 350 career appearances, but this felt like a breakthrough performance.
Lukaku superbly moved the ball between his feet to produce the opener in the 2-1 win against ex-employers Chelsea, before adroitly working space out wide and delivering a perfect cross for England midfielder Jesse Lingard’s winner.
This ended his wait to score for United against a top-six rival.
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Atletico Madrid delivered, arguably, the continent’s best performance of the weekend when they won 5-2 at Sevilla and their France forward was at the heart of this display.
Griezmann scored from 20 yards, converted a penalty, set up Spain creator Koke for their fourth and then applied the finish to Saul Niguez’s cut-back for his hat-trick.
His stellar contribution saw him join Lionel Messi as the only La Liga player to reach double figures for goals and assists in 2017/18, plus move on to 150 club career strikes.