Underdogs excelled across Europe over the weekend. Their performances meant that Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus and Olympiacos dropped points in the opening round, while Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Schalke and Lyon also failed to win. FIFA.com reflects on the latest developments.
Premier League: Chelsea clear, two in hot pursuit
Chelsea made it maximum points from three games with a 2-0 home win over Stoke City, but their closest rivals also won. Arsenal beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 away and Manchester United saw off West Ham United 3-0 at Old Trafford. Liverpool beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 courtesy of a Fernando Torres strike, but remain down in 13th on four points.
Meanwhile, would-be title candidates Manchester City fell to a first defeat of the season away to Sunderland, Darren Bent netting the winner from the spot in the fourth minute of stoppage time. UEFA Europa League finalists Fulham have yet to lose but have not won either: the Cottagers drew for the third time on the bounce, 2-2 at newcomers Blackpool.
Top three: Chelsea (9 points), Arsenal, Manchester United (both 7)
Bottom three: Everton (1), Stoke City, West Ham United (both 0)
Leading scorers: Andrew Carroll, Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Theo Walcott (all 4 goals)
Weekend stat: 14 – three games into the season, Chelsea have yet to concede, and have scored 14 goals of their own.
La Liga: Real stumble, Barça stroll
After netting a hat-trick in the Spanish Super Cup a week ago, reigning FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi maintained his sparkling form in the first competitive match of the new term, setting champions Barcelona on their way to a 3-0 victory with the opening goal after just four minutes of the trip to Racing Santander. Sevilla claimed top spot in the standings with a 4-1 win away to Levante. The side who finished fourth last season are followed by Barça, Espanyol, who overcame Getafe 3-1, and Valencia, who won 3-1 at Malaga.
Jose Mourinho’s debut as Real Madrid coach failed to match the hype and ended in a dull 0-0 draw away to Mallorca. The first round of matches concludes on Monday evening when UEFA Europa League winners Atletico Madrid play Sporting Gijon.
Top three: Sevilla, Barcelona, Espanyol (all 3 points)
Bottom three: Malaga, Levante, Santander (all 0 points)
Leading scorers: Joaquin, Abdoulay Konko, Pablo Osvaldo (all two goals)
Weekend stat: 17 – Barcelona are now undefeated in 17 La Liga matches (15 wins, 2 draws). The Catalans’ most recent defeat was a 2-1 reverse by Atletico Madrid on 14 February.
Bundesliga: Big names stumble
Promoted Kaiserslautern struck twice in a first-half minute to beat champions Bayern Munich 2-0 and provide the first upset of the season. Last-season’s runners-up Schalke fared no better than the double winners, falling 2-1 at home to unfancied Hanover. Two games in, Felix Magath's team are still looking for their first point of the campaign, but Hanover’s two wins from two represents their best start since 1965.
Apart from Lautern and Hanover, three other clubs have maximum points so far. Bundesliga founder members Hamburg won 3-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt, Mainz astonishingly came from three goals down to beat Wolfsburg 4-3, and Hoffenheim defeated St Pauli. UEFA Champions League hopefuls Werder Bremen got off the mark with a 4-2 win at home to Cologne.
Top three: Hoffenheim, Kaiserslautern, Mainz (all 6 points)
Bottom three: Eintracht Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart (all 0)
Leading scorers: Edin Dzeko, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Srdjan Lakic, Demba Cisse (all 3 goals)
Weekend stat: 26 – Leverkusen’s 6-3 defeat was their heaviest reverse at home in the Bundesliga since a 5-1 defeat to Bayern on 21 January 1984, more than 26 years ago.
Serie A: Roma and Juventus thwarted
Treble winners Inter Milan will have watched with some satisfaction as two of their rivals made false starts. Roma surrendered two points in a listless goalless draw at home to promoted Cesena, while Juventus contrived to lose 1-0 away to Bari.
Inter open their campaign away to Bologna on Monday evening, but bitter rivals AC Milan sent out a strong message of intent with a 4-0 home win over Lecce. Sampdoria and Parma also started well, racking up 2-0 wins over Lazio and Brescia respectively.
Top three: AC Milan, Sampdoria, Parma (all 3 points)
Bottom three: Brescia, Lazio, Lecce (all 0)
Leading scorer: Alexandre Pato (2 goals)
Weekend stat: 172 – after a total of 172 goals on the national and European stage for Juventus, former France striker and the Turin club’s fourth all-time leading scorer David Trezeguet has moved on to pastures new.
Ligue 1: Toulouse maintain perfect start
Toulouse beat Nancy 2-0 away from home to make it four wins in four and maintain their stunning start to the campaign. Rennes won 1-0 at Arles-Avignon and Montpellier beat Valenciennes by the same score, but the sides in second and third are already four points off the early leaders.
After four games, nine of Ligue 1’s 20 teams have four points, among them Lyon, who lost for the second time this season – 2-0 away to Lorient – to slip to 17th. Bordeaux met champions Marseille in the biggest game of the weekend. The 1-1 draw left the teams in tenth and 14th, still far off expectations. Lucho Gonzalez struck a 12th-minute opener for the visitors, but Anthony Modeste levelled shortly before the end.
Top three: Toulouse (12 points), Rennes, Montpellier (both 8)
Bottom three: Nancy (4), Auxerre (3), Arles-Avignon (0)
Leading scorers: Dimitri Payet (4 goals), Daniel Braaten (3)
Weekend stat: 0 – Promoted Arles-Avignon are the only Ligue 1 club yet to register a point.
Greek Super League champions Panathinaikos opened with an uninspiring 1-1 draw against Xanthi, but runners-up Olympiacos lost 2-1 to Iraklis Saloniki. PAOK's 3-2 victory over Panserraikos put them top of the table.
On Matchday 7 in the Swiss Super League, double winners Basel showed signs of improved form with a 4-1 victory over struggling Neuchatel Xamax, cutting the gap to the top of the table to a single point. Leaders Lucerne were held to a 1-1 draw by promoted Thun.