Some of the continent's biggest clubs were brought back down to earth in humbling fashion this weekend, with the likes of Inter Milan, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Marseille beaten by sides they would, in most cases, expect to overcome. Those upsets allowed their rivals to take advantage and few declined the invitation. In Spain, on the other hand, the leading duo still shows no signs of slipping up.
FIFA.com looks back at the events that grabbed the headlines in Europe's major championships over the weekend.
Premier League: United profit from Chelsea upset
After winning their opening six encounters this season, Chelsea finally tasted defeat in their seventh outing. The Blues suffered a 3-1 loss at Wigan which permitted Manchester United to take over at the summit, courtesy of their 2-0 victory at Stoke City. Now third, Liverpool also triumphed, but in far more convincing fashion as Fernando Torres fired a hat-trick in their 6-1 win over Hull City.
Robbie Keane went one better than his former Reds team-mate by plundering four goals for Tottenham Hotspur as they swept aside Burnley 5-0, a result which lifted them to fourth, one place higher than north London rivals Arsenal, who ran out 1-0 winners at Fulham. Blackburn Rovers needed a late goal to see off Aston Villa 2-1 and a similarly timely strike gave Bolton victory by the same scoreline at Birmingham City. At the bottom, Portsmouth are yet to clinch their first point after Louis Saha hit his fifth goal in five matches to earn Everton a 1-0 success on the south coast.
Top three: Manchester United, Chelsea, (both 18 points), Liverpool (15)
Bottom three: West Ham, Hull City (both 4 points), Portsmouth (0)
Leading scorers: Fernando Torres (8 goals), Darren Bent (7), Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba (both 6)
Weekend stat: 0 - Portsmouth are stuck on zero points after seven games, a situation no other top-flight English team has found themselves in for 79 years. Zero is also the number of draws the Premier League yielded on Saturday and Sunday, the same tally as in Germany.
Bundesliga: Hamburg quell Bayern ambitions
The most eagerly anticipated game in the Bundesliga over the weekend ended in a 1-0 victory for Hamburg against Bayern Munich that kept HSV in top spot. The leaders still owe their position to the slenderest of goal difference advantages, however, after second-placed Bayer Leverkusen defeated Cologne 1-0. Newly installed in third, Hoffenheim had a Vedad Ibisevic hat-trick to thank for their 5-1 triumph over Hertha Berlin, an outcome that added to their struggling opponents' increasing woes.
The Ruhr derby swung in Schalke's favour as Felix Magath's troops prevailed 1-0 at Borussia Dortmund to climb up to fourth, while the hosts slipped to 15th. Elsewhere, Wolfsburg confirmed their return to form by downing Hannover 4-2 and Werder Bremen got back on track by consigning Mainz to a 3-0 reverse. The big game in the lower reaches was won by Bochum, who overcame Nuremberg 1-0.
Top three: Hamburg, Bayer Leverkusen (both 17 points), Hoffenheim (14)
Bottom three: Nuremberg (5 points), FC Cologne (4), Hertha Berlin (3)
Leading scorers: Stefan Kiessling (5 goals), Edin Dzeko, Zvjezdan Misimovic, Claudio Pizarro (all 4)
Weekend stat: 55 - Freiburg's 3-0 defeat of Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday was their first home win in the top tier in 55 months, their previous success being a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg on 29 January 2005.
Serie A: Sampdoria stun Inter
Sampdoria's excellent start to the Serie A season continued with an eye-catching 1-0 victory over champions Inter Milan, achieved courtesy of Gianpaolo Pazzini's decisive strike. Their fifth win in six games took the team from Genoa back to the summit ahead of Juventus, who missed their chance to take control at the top after a late Adailton goal for Bologna cancelled out David Trezeguet's opener in a 1-1 draw. One spot behind third-placed Inter, Fiorentina secured a 1-0 success at Livorno thanks to a Stevan Jovetic penalty.
Antonio Di Natale helped himself to his eighth goal of the campaign in Udinese's impressive 2-0 victory over Genoa, while a last-gasp Daniele de Rossi effort earned Roma a 1-1 stalemate at Catania. AC Milan could only draw 0-0 with Bari, meanwhile, and now find themselves 11th overall and seven points shy of Sampdoria. In the lower reaches, Cagliari boosted their cause by seeing off Parma 2-0, leaving winless trio Catania, Atalanta and Livorno in the bottom three places.
Top three: Sampdoria (15 points), Juventus (14), Inter Milan (13)
Bottom three: Catania (3 points), Atalanta, Livorno (both 2)
Leading scorers: Antonio Di Natale (8 goals), Diego Milito (5), Francesco Totti (4)
Weekend stat: 6 - the number of days Inter coach Jose Mourinho refused to speak to journalists, before he commented on the loss to Sampdoria after being instructed to comply by club officials.
La Liga: Barça and Real relentless
Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to march hand-in-hand ahead of everybody else in La Liga after winning yet again, the Blaugrana overcoming Malaga 2-0 and Los Merengues beating Tenerife 3-0. Both will need to be wary of Sevilla, though, after the third-placed outfit stayed within three points by dismantling Athletic Bilbao 4-0. Another two points further back in fourth, Mallorca handed Valladolid a 3-0 reverse.
Valencia had to settle for a share of the points at home against Atletico Madrid, the two sides contesting a 2-2 draw that suited neither party. Los Colchoneros remain stranded in the danger zone, along with Villarreal after the Yellow Submarine suffered a 1-0 setback at Deportivo La Coruna. Propping up the table, Xerex clinched their first point thanks to a goalless draw with Espanyol.
Top three: Barcelona, Real Madrid, (both 15 points), Sevilla (12)
Bottom three: Atletico Madrid (3 points), Villarreal (2), Xerez, (1)
Leading scorers: David Villa (6 goals) Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo (all 5)
Weekend stat: 5 - for the first time in Liga history, Barça and Real have both claimed maximum points from their opening five matches. Five is also the number of goals struck by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, the trio averaging a goal per game.
Ligue 1: Marseille lose unbeaten record
Marseille were the major losers in France as they tasted defeat for the first time this season, going down 3-2 at Valenciennes. Rivals Lyon and Bordeaux made no such mistakes as they dealt with Toulouse and Rennes respectively, meaning OM now trail leaders Bordeaux by five points, with Lyon two points back in second. In fact, Didier Deschamps' side share the same points tally as Montpellier, who saw off Boulogne 1-0 in the battle of the promoted teams.
At the bottom, Grenoble have made the worst ever start to a Ligue 1 campaign after succumbing to their seventh consecutive loss, 2-0 against Auxerre, while Nice remain in the relegation places after conceding Pierre Alain-Frau's late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Lille. In contrast, Saint-Etienne had plenty to cheer as new recruit Gonzalo Bergessio hit a last-gasp decider in their 2-1 triumph at Monaco.
Top three: Bordeaux (19 points), Lyon (17) Marseille (14)
Bottom three: Le Mans (4 points), Nice (4), Grenoble (0)
Leading scorers: Mamadou Niang (5 goals), Bafetimbi Gomis, Yoann Gourcuff, Asamoah Gyan, Nene (all 4)
Weekend stat: 11 - Ahead of their Saturday setback, Marseille had gone unbeaten in their previous 11 away encounters, winning ten and drawing the other.
In Portugal, all eyes were on the high-profile meeting between Porto and Sporting Lisbon, which resulted in a 1-0 victory for the Dragons. Sporting Braga continue to lead the way, however, as they took their tally to a perfect 18 points via a 1-0 win over Olhanense. Two points further back, Benfica lie second following their 5-0 rout of Leixoes, with Porto third and Sporting fifth on 10 points.
In the Netherlands, AZ Alkmaar's form shows no signs of improving after they suffered a third straight defeat, the defending champions going down 1-0 to Utrecht. PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente sit atop the table on 20 points apiece from eight games.
Salzburg and Austria Vienna occupy the top two places in Austria after they posted away wins at Austria Karnten and Mattersburg respectively. Salzburg look down on everyone else with 20 points and Austria Vienna boast 17, with Sturm Graz poised on 16 and possessing a game in hand.