Bernardo Silva is officially back in goalscoring form. Having recently gone 35 appearances without scoring for club or country, the Portuguese midfielder now has two in four matches for Manchester City, after helping them beat Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Danilo Pereira scored a crucial goal for Paris Saint-Germain as they home in on another French Ligue 1 title. Jota also found the net this weekend in Scotland with Celtic, while former Benfica man Diogo Gonçalves grabbed his first goal for new club FC Copenhagen in Denmark.

Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Bernardo Silva after the Seleção star scored Manchester City’s 1,000th home goal in the Premier League on Saturday. Bernardo got the second with a cool left-footed finish as City beat Newcastle United 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium, maintaining their five-point distance to leaders Arsenal.

Bernardo’s goal against Arsenal last month ended a 35-match goal drought going back to August, but Guardiola insists the former Benfica man should not be defined by stats. "Bernardo has never been a top, top scorer or top assists but he helps us to play better,” said the City boss. “If you want statistics, you can go to big data and write a big article about that.

“But there are some things that people don’t come to in the data. It’s something that is unique. And Bernardo is unique.

“To make us, all of us, play better, be aggressive and play our rhythm that we need to play better.

“The game, in some moments, is so quick, so quick, so quick. Sometimes it is necessary but sometimes it is not.

"Bernardo helps us to play in a different pause to have to make the explosion. He is unique. Bernardo is unique in the world in doing this.”

Danilo pivotal in PSG win

To France, and on a night which belonged to Kylian Mbappe, who became Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time leading scorer, Portuguese international Danilo Pereira was responsible for the crucial goal in a 4-2 win over Nantes.

The champions raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 17 minutes, but Nantes staged an incredible fightback to go into half time level at 2-2. Danilo restored PSG’s advantage in the 60th minute when he headed in Mbappe’s cross, after which the latter became his club’s all-time leading marksman by finishing the scoring in stoppage time with his 201st strike in PSG colours.

Danilo, whom some reporters described as ‘waking up PSG’ with his goal, spoke to Canal+ after the game. “It was a good performance despite the two goals conceded due lack of attention,” he said. “On the second goal, we relaxed a little. But when we are like that in Ligue 1, we give a little hope to the other team and it's dangerous. Nantes played well on the pitch, their two goals were deserved. But afterwards, we were able to get back into it.”

Jota ignites Celtic comeback

Another Portuguese hoping to help his team defend their title is ex-Benfica forward Jota. Celtic hammered St Mirren 5-1 away from home on Sunday to remain nine points clear of fierce rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership. While the victory may look routine on paper, the scoreline betrays the full story, with Celtic trailing for 50 minutes at the SMISA Stadium after conceding a 6th minute penalty.

Jota got the vital equaliser ten minutes after the re-start, scoring from an acute angle to draw the sides level at 1-1, after which Celtic scored four times in a 20-minute spell to run out convincing victors. The Hoops are on course for a domestic treble having won the League Cup last month, while an FA Cup quarter final tie at Hearts awaits this weekend.

The rest: Goncalves opens Danish account

Former Benfica midfielder Diogo Gonçalves has his first goal for new club FC Copenhagen in Denmark. The 26-year-old scored from the penalty spot to put his side ahead against OD at home, after which the champions ran out 7-0 winners. Gonçalves joined Copenhagen in the winter transfer window and was making his third appearance for the club.

In the Middle East, there was a huge first goal in Saudi Arabia for Pedro Eugénio, who scored a 97th-minute winner for Al Adalah to overcome Al Shabab 2-1 away from home. In neighbouring United Arab Emirates, ex-Braga midfielder João Novais scored for Al Bataeh, who were held to a 2-2 home draw by Khorfakkan.

A memorable game in the German second tier saw another Portuguese get a first goal for his club as Arminia Bielefeld gave up a 3-0 lead to draw at Eintracht Braunschweig. Former Sporting defender Guilherme Ramos put his side 3-0 up with less than twenty minutes played, but the hosts pulled two goals back before the break before ultimately tying the score at 3-3 in the second half.

In Poland, former Santa Clara midfielder Nené scored for Jagiellonia Białystok in their 1-1 draw at Miedź Legnica. Veteran defender Hélder Lopes has been in good goalscoring form in Israel this season and got his third of the campaign as Hapoel Be’er Sheva won 3-0 at Hapoel Hadera.

Finally, Cascais-born midfielder Bruno Ramírez scored for Fola Esch during a 3-2 victory over Differdange in Luxembourg, while there were three Portuguese scorers - Fabinho, Rodrigo Pinto and João Tomaz - for winning side Penya Encarnada as they won 3-0 at Ordino.

By Sean Gillen


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