Novara shock Serie A, ladies' night in Turkey

There were dream returns for Novara Calcio in Italy and Owen Hargreaves in Manchester while it was business as usual for Falcao as digests the week that was in Europe.

Novara Calcio celebrate their 3-1 win against FC Internazionale Milano
Novara Calcio celebrate their 3-1 win against FC Internazionale Milano ©Getty Images

Team: Novara Calcio
Novara announced their return to the top table of Italian football in style, marking their first home match in Serie A since 1956 with a 3-1 victory against FC Internazionale Milano. The Piedmont club, who were playing in the third tier two seasons ago, were without a win from their opening two league fixtures, both away from the Stadio Silvio Piola, but two goals from Marco Rigoni and one from Riccardo Meggiorini sealed a famous result against the 2009/10 treble winners. Novara coach Attilio Tesser attempted to keep his feet on the ground despite the joy, saying: "Three points are just three points, regardless of who you beat."

Player: Falcao (Club Atlético de Madrid)
After a record breaking 2010/11 season with FC Porto, when he struck an unprecedented 17 goals in the Dragons' triumphant UEFA Europa League run, Falcao has carried on in Spain exactly where he left off in Portugal. The 25-year-old's first goal since his club record summer move to Atlético came in last week's 2-0 UEFA Europa League win against Celtic FC, and thereafter the Colombian rattled off a further five Liga goals in four days. Real Racing Club felt the full force on Sunday, the deadly striker producing a hat-trick in a 4-0 win; Real Sporting de Gijón got off lightly in comparison, succumbing to a Falcao double as Atlético repeated the scoreline.

Goal: Owen Hargreaves (Manchester City FC)
After playing just six minutes of first team football in the last three injury-hit years, there were doubts over whether Owen Hargreaves would ever play at the top level again. However, the two-time UEFA Champions League winner, with FC Bayern München in 2000/01 and Manchester United FC in 2007/08, announced his return with a brilliant strike to help him start to put his injury nightmare behind him. His first goal since April 2008, which was drilled into the top corner from 22 metres, was the highlight of City's 2-0 League Cup win against Birmingham City FC. "I knew this day would come again," said the 30-year-old midfielder. "I would never have anticipated the injuries in my worst nightmares, but I was never afraid of a challenge."

"Maybe tomorrow the San Gennaro miracle will not happen because there was already one big miracle here tonight."
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis after his club's 3-1 victory against AC Milan, which took place the eve of the city's Feast of San Gennaro, when Neapolitans pack the city's cathedral for the archbishop's annual announcement of whether the blood of San Gennaro has liquefied.

Girls allowed: Fenerbahçe SK
Fenerbahçe vice-president Ali Koç announced that female supporters were "more passionate and encouraging" than their male counterparts after his club played in front of a testostorone-light crowd against Manisaspor. The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) ruled that women, and children under 12, could attend games that have been ordered to be played behind closed doors, and 41,663 spectators turned up to see the 1-1 draw. Koç said: "The queue to get tickets to the game was so long that it reached two or three kilometres. The atmosphere created was energetic and they kept the excitement high all the way through the game."

Number: 40
Andrei Tikhonov took to the field one final time in FC Spartak Moskva's 3-0 win against PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara at the age of 40. The winger has hung up his boots after a career which has taken in almost 700 appearances and over 200 goals. Earning himself hero status with the Spartak fans in the 1990s, the former Russian international had spells in Israel and Kazakhstan, but returned to his spiritual home at the People's Club to finish his career. His old Spartak coach Oleg Romantsev revealed the secret to Tikhonov's longevity: "He was and will be one of my favourite players. He has one very valuable quality; he sticks to a daily schedule and regime. That's the secret of his long football career."

Long shot: Real Betis Balompié
In a week when FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola said "we probably won't win anything this season" and Real Madrid CF boss José Mourinho said his side would be "fighting for top-flight survival until we have 40 points", Real Betis Balompié coach Pepe Mel said his newly promoted Liga leaders would happily step in to the void left by Spain's big two. "If neither of them want the league title we'll certainly compete for it," the 48-year-old stated enthusiastically. Los Verdiblancos maintained their 100% start to the current campaign with a 4-3 win against Real Zaragoza on Thursday night.

Proud parent: Luis Ibáñez (GNK Dinamo Zagreb)
After Luis Ibáñez scored twice in GNK Dinamo Zagreb's 7-0 victory against NK Varaždin he expected his father to be bursting with pride, but it seems Ibáñez Snr is more bad cop than good. Luis said: "My father called me after the match and asked me how I played. I told him: 'I scored two goals.' And my father answered: 'Yeah, right. No way did you score twice, unless the goalkeeper let you score on purpose.' He is always like that. He is my biggest critic."

Record breaker: Marc Janko (FC Twente)
FC Twente striker Marc Janko is hot on the heels of Eredivisie record holder Pétur Pétursson after equalling a club record by scoring in all six of his side's opening matches. His goal in the 5-2 victory against ADO Den Haag last Sunday brought him level with Dick van Dijk who registered in Twente's first six matches of the 1968/69 season, but the Austrian is still only three-quarters of the way to matching Iceland striker Pétursson who scored in eight consecutive Eredivisie games for Feyenoord at the start of the 1979/80 season.