It may still be early days in Europe's five leading leagues, but patterns are clearly emerging. In England, Chelsea and Liverpool are looking inseparable at the top, while in Spain the big guns have started finding their feet. The outsiders are still shining brightest in Serie A, meanwhile, and although the outstanding trend in the Bundesliga continues to be instability at the top, there is nothing unstable about Lyon's growing lead in Ligue 1.
FIFA.com reviews the weekend action in Europe's biggest championships.
Premier League: Three of the Big Four prosper
Chelsea and Liverpool continue to advance side by side and both now share top spot after Arsenal's surprise home defeat to promoted outfit Hull City, who recovered from Paul McShane's own goal after 50 minutes to record a famous 2-1 triumph. Jose Bosingwa and Nicolas Anelka fired Chelsea to victory at Stoke City with efforts in the 36th and 76th minutes respectively, while Fernando Torres caused all the damage in the Merseyside derby. With just one goal to his name before the weekend, the Spaniard struck twice in the space of three second-half minutes to consign Everton to a 2-0 reverse at Goodison Park.
Champions Manchester United took an hour to open their account at home against Bolton, meanwhile, taking the lead from the spot through Cristiano Ronaldo before Wayne Rooney settled matters 13 minutes from time. Aston Villa moved into third, one point behind the leaders, after beating Sunderland 2-1.
Top three: Chelsea, Liverpool (14 points), Aston Villa (13)
Bottom three: Stoke City, Newcastle United (four points), Tottenham Hotspur (two)
Leading scorers: Jermain Defoe, Amr Zaki (both five goals) Gabriel Agbonlahor (four)
Weekend stat: Paul Scholes became only the 11th player to reach the landmark of 400 Premier League appearances when he took to the field against Bolton. He and fellow Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs (497 games) are the only two on the list to have come from the same club.
Serie A: Milan take derby honours as Lazio go top
Outsiders for honours in Italy this season, Lazio, Napoli, Udinese and Catania all tasted success at the weekend and now occupy four of the top five spots. Champions and favourites Inter Milan look almost out of place in their company, in fact, and their mission to defend their title took a dent when they lost Sunday's fiercely competitive derby match to city rivals AC Milan at the San Siro. Reduced to ten men after Nicolas Burdisso saw red in the 77th minute, the Nerazzurri were undone by Ronaldinho's 36th-minute header, which left Inter two points adrift of new frontrunners Lazio.
Roma got back to winning ways when Christian Panucci and Mirko Vucinic fired the goals in a 2-0 success against Atalanta, who went into the match in third spot. Elsewhere, goal-shy Juventus dropped precious points at Sampdoria, where they had to settle for a 0-0 draw, while Fiorentina profited from another Alberto Gilardino effort to see off Genoa 1-0.
Top three: Lazio (12 points), Napoli (11), Udinese (ten)
Bottom three: Bologna (three points), Reggina (one), Cagliari (zero)
Leading scorers: Mauro Zarate (six goals), Diego Alberto Milito, Goran Pandev (four)
Weekend stat: After five rounds of matches, three teams are still waiting for their first win: Sampdoria have posted four draws and a loss, Reggina have drawn once and lost four times, and Cagliari are yet to collect a single point.
La Liga: Real and Barça back in the groove
Having stuttered badly at the start of the season, Real Madrid and Barcelona both seem to be back on track, although both needed added-time winners to prevail on Saturday. Ruud van Nistelrooy's prowess in front of goals lifted the champions to a 2-1 victory at Real Betis, while Lionel Messi found the back of net in the fifth minute of injury time to help Barça defeat neighbours Espanyol by the same scoreline.
Villarreal and Valencia continue to set the early pace, however, with the Yellow Submarine overcoming Sporting Gijon 1-0 thanks to a 64th-minute goal from Giuseppe Rossi, back in the side after recovering from an ankle sprain. Their co-leaders made lighter work of Deportivo La Coruna, running out 4-2 victors after David Villa grabbed a brace. In Sunday's evening game, Luis Fabiano struck after 21 minutes to hand Sevilla victory over Atletico Madrid.
Top three: Valencia, Villarreal (13 points), Real Madrid (12)
Bottom three: Real Betis, Racing Santander (two points), Sporting Gijon (zero)
Leading scorers: David Villa (six goals) Alvaro Negredo, Lionel Messi, Florent Sinama-Pongolle, Rafael van der Vaart (four goals each)
Weekend stat: Sporting Gijon's defence continues to ship goals, with the Asturian outfit now having conceded 20 in five games, for an average of four per match.
Ligue 1: Lyon surge ahead
The years go by, but they must all be starting to look alike to Lyon. The Rhone club's 2-1 victory over Nancy on Saturday was their sixth win in seven league encounters, giving them a five-point advantage over Toulouse, who leapt up to second courtesy of a 1-0 win at Valenciennes. Tipped by many to run Lyon close, Marseille could only draw 1-1 at Le Mans, despite a sixth-minute Hatem Ben Arfa strike.
Paris Saint-Germain showed they have not resolved all of last season's failings by losing 1-0 at home against Grenoble, their third loss of the campaign. Nassim Akrour earned the visitors maximum points with his 76th-minute effort, punishing the capital outfit's general lack of ideas to climb up to fourth.
Top three: Lyon (19 points), Toulouse (14), Marseille (13)
Bottom three: Le Havre, Nantes (four points), Sochaux (three)
Leading scorers: Karim Benzema (six goals), Loic Remy, Thorstein Helstad (four)
Weekend stat: Marseille have now gone 12 matches without defeat on their travels, winning five and drawing seven.
Bundesliga: Hamburg first as Bayern lose again
Life continues to be tough at the top in Germany, after Schalke lost 1-0 away against promoted side Cologne on Friday. That allowed Hamburg to rise to the summit the following day, Mladen Petric's 11th-minute effort helping them to a 1-0 win over a Borussia Monchengladbach team struggling to find form.
Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen now lie second and third respectively, one and two points off the pace. Leverkusen carved out a 3-2 success at Bochum while Werder racked up five goals for the second league game in succession, eventually emerging 5-4 victors after a pulsating encounter with top-flight newcomers Hoffenheim. Bayern Munich also continued where they left off last time out, losing 1-0 to Hannover. That fresh setback leaves the champions five points off the top.
Top three: Hamburg (13 points), Bayer Leverkusen (12), Werder Bremen (11)
Bottom three: Energie Cottbus (five points), Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Monchengladbach (both three)
Leading scorers: Vedad Ibisevic, Patrick Helmes (both seven goals), Artur Wichniarek (six)
Weekend stat: With eight points on the board after six games, Bayern are currently experiencing their second-worst start to a league season. Only in 1977/78 did they boast fewer points at the same stage, having taken just six.