No team can stay undefeated as even Italy's Juventus saw their incredible 49-match winning streak come to an end.
Argentines Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio powered through to deliver Juventus a loss that no one saw coming.
Milito struck twice and Palacio added an insurance goal to power Inter Milan to a 3-1 win over Juve in Italy's Series A.
From the opening minute when Juventus struck early, no one would have thought that Inter would bounce back to secure the victory on Saturday.
"We were caught napping for the first goal, even if it was offside, but after that we reacted and played brilliantly. We deserved to win," Milito told Sky Sport Italia. "It was a really hard match. We knew that it would be like that, we were up against the current champions, a great team like Juventus."
Only 19 seconds into the match, Arturo Vidal had given Juve the lead after Kwadwo Asamoah scuffed his shot into the path of the Chilean, who scored.
After that, it was all Inter.
Milito equalized with a 59th-minute penalty kick before giving Inter the lead 16 minutes later. Palacio gave the winners some breathing room in the 90th minute.
Pablo Osvaldo, Erik Lamela
The Argentines each scored a goal in AS Roma's 4-1 triumph over Palermo, but their accomplishments were overshadowed by teammate and substitute Mattia Destro. Destro came on as a sub in the 73rd and was awarded a yellow card. Tallying his fourth goal of the season in the 77th minute, Destro was quick to celebrate. Osvaldo too found the back of the net in the first half and Lamela added another in the 73rd minute.
The Uruguayan striker celebrated his return to the Napoli lineup after missing two games due to injury, scoring in a 1-1 draw with visiting Torino. Cavani put home Marek Hamsik's pass in the sixth minute.
Gonzalo Rodríguez, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado
Rodríguez, another Uruguayan, started Fiorentina off to its 4-1 thumping of Cagliari with a 14th-minute goal. Cuadrado, a Colombian, closed out the scoring in the 84th minute.
Alejandro Gomez, Pablo Barrientos
Gómez, one of eight Argentine players in the Catania lineup, registered a first-half brace and set up another goal in a 4-0 home victory over Lazio. Gómez tallied in the eighth and 28th minutes, the first goal off a shot from a seemingly impossible angle. Barrientos, a fellow countryman, completed the onslaught in the 69th minute.
David Villa, Jordi Alba, Lionel Messi
It doesn't always have to be the Messi show for Barcelona. There are other lethal weapons in the La Liga team's arsenal. Villa, a Spanish international striker, is one of them. Showing fine form since breaking his leg at the FIFA Club World Cup last December, the Spaniard scored one goal (28th minute) and set up another via a back-heel pass to Alba (61st minute) in a 3-1 home victory over Celta Vigo. Brazilian Adriano (21st minute) also found the back of the net for Barca. Messi, an Argentine who became a father for the first time when his son Thiago was born on Friday, did not figure in the scoring. He leads the league with 13 goals.
Colotto, an Argentinean, tallied in the 77th minute to boost visiting Español to a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.
Nelson Haedo Valdez
The Paraguayan put home an insurance goal five minutes into stoppage time as Valencia beat visiting Atletico Madrid, 2-0. Atletico lost for the first time in league play this season. Spaniard Roberto Soldado had given the hosts a 20th-minute lead.
Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria
The lethal Argentine duo gave Real Madrid all the scoring it needed as they struck two minutes apart in the opening half of its 4-0 home triumph over Real Zaragoza. Higuain tallied in the 23rd minute and Di Maria hit pay dirt in the 25th. Michael Essien and Luka Modric also scored for Real.
The Uruguayan striker scored a superb goal, but his Liverpool team was forced to settle for a 1-1 home draw with Newcastle in a game that commemorated captain Steven Gerrard's 600th appearance for the Reds. After the visitors took a first-half lead behind Yohan Cabaye, Suárez knotted it up in the 67th minute. He controlled a long ball from Jose Enrique and ran around goalkeeper Tim Krul for an easy tap in.
Ruiz, a Costa Rican international midfielder, started it all with a free kick and U.S. National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard ended the play with a rather unusual goal in Fulham's 2-2 home draw. Fulham grabbed a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute as Ruiz sent a 25-yard free kick that he bent over the wall and headed towards the far corner of the net. Howard pushed it into the inside of the post as the ball rolled over the line. Ruiz claimed the score (which was Fulham's 500th in the English Premier League), while some observers felt it was an own goal.
Alejandro Alonso, Javier Pastore
Two Argentines played key roles in St. Etienne's 2-1 upset of Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain, which suffered its first home setback. Alonso created St. Etienne's second goal in the 73rd minute, which was scored by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Pastore helped slice PSG's deficit in half as striker Guillaume Hoarau converted his free kick in the 88th minute.
The Mexican international goalkeeper could not stop the one-two punch of brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew, who scored a goal apiece as Olympic Marseille blanked host AC Ajaccio, 2-0. On the first goal in the 55th minute, Ochoa parried a shot by Morgan Amalfitano into the path of Charles Kabore. Kabore headed the ball to Andre Ayew, who knocked it into the net. With three minutes remaining, brother Jordan Ayew beat Ochoa, who tipped Mathieu Valbuena's shot over the crossbar in the waning minutes.
The Peruvian striker turned playmaker, setting up his Schalke 04 teammates for two goals, but it wasn't enough in a 3-2 upset loss at Hoffenheim, snapping the team's nine-game unbeaten streak. Farfan fed Roman Neustadter in the 82nd minute to knot things up at 1-1. After Hoffenheim grabbed a 2-1 lead, the Peruvian standout crossed the ball to Japan's Atsuto Uchida for a tap-in to equalize at 2-2 in the 82nd minute. But Hoffenheim sub Sven Schipplock scored the winner a minute into stoppage time.
Roy Miller, Rafa Marquez
Both these international defenders did not have memorable nights for the Red Bulls in their 1-1 draw at D.C. United in the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference semifinal series. Marquez, a Mexican, was forced out of the game at halftime with calf tightness. Miller, a Costa Rican and his replacement, scored in the 61st minute before the Red Bulls scored one of their own as the United goalkeeper brought the ball into his own net several minutes later. The second leg of the aggregate-goals series is in Harrison, N.J. on Wednesday night.
Bernardez, a Honduran center back, fired home a free kick four minutes into stoppage time to lift the San Jose Earthquakes to a 1-0 win over the defending champion LA Galaxy in a Western Conference semifinal first leg. The second leg is set is for Wednesday.
Aging soccer stars don't retire. They go to Qatar to make millions and score a few more goals. Take Raul, for instance. The former Spanish international connected for an insurance goal in the 78th minutein Al Sadd's 6-1 triumph at Al Rayyan. Al Sadd has won six successive matches.
Michael Lewis, who has covered eight World Cups and has been reporting about soccer for four decades, can be reached at SoccerWriter516@aol.com or via Twitter at @soccerwriter.
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