Productive weekend for Europe's leaders
The leaders in the top five European leagues all continued their fine early-season form with important victories. Manchester United beat Chelsea in the big game in England, Bayern won away to Schalke in Germany, Napoli downed Italian champions AC Milan, and Valencia made it three wins in three in Spain. In France, meanwhile, former serial champions Olympique Lyon returned to the top of the standings. FIFA.com reviews the weekend action around Europe.
Premier League: Misfiring Gunners beaten again
Five games into the season, and London giants Arsenal are still struggling for form. The Gunners travelled to lowly Blackburn Rovers, who moved off the bottom with a 4-3 win. West London neighbours Fulham now share last place with Bolton and West Brom, but the Cottagers will take heart from a 2-2 home draw with Manchester City, who dropped points for the first time this term. Manchester United, meanwhile, maintained their perfect start with a thrilling 3-1 win over Chelsea. Tottenham struck a blow for the capital, beating Liverpool 4-0 in north London and moving into the top third of the standings. Sunderland beat Stoke by the same score to register their first win of the campaign.
Top three: Manchester United (15 points), Manchester City (13 ), Chelsea (10)
Bottom three: Fulham, Bolton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion (all 3)
Leading scorers: Wayne Rooney (9 goals), Sergio Aguero (8), Edin Dzeko (6)
Weekend stat: 3 – Promoted trio Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City all won at the weekend. The Canaries and the Swans chalked up maiden victories, with QPR now up to two wins so far.
Bundesliga: Surprise winners in derby clashes
Cologne and Kaiserslautern both prevailed against local rivals. Lukas Podolski and his Cologne team-mates travelled the few miles to UEFA Champions League hopefuls Bayer Leverkusen and won 4-1, while the Red Devils got off the mark for the season with a 3-1 success at home to Mainz. By contrast, these are dark days for Bundesliga founder members Hamburg, who lost 1-0 at home to high-flying Borussia Monchengladbach and remain rooted to the foot of the table.
At the top, resurgent Bayern Munich moved two points clear with a 2-0 victory away to Schalke. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Co have now won their last eight in all competitions without conceding a goal. Werder Bremen played with ten men for 73 minutes but still drew 1-1 away to Nuremberg, while champions Borussia Dortmund snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, conceding two goals in the space of two minutes at the end to lose 2-1 away to Hannover.
Top three: Bayern (15 points), Bremen, Monchengladbach (both 13)
Bottom three: Freiburg (4), Augsburg (3), Hamburg (1)
Leading scorers: Mario Gomez (8 goals), Papiss Demba Cisse (5), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ryan Babel, Roberto Firmino (all 4)
Weekend stat: 13 – It is early days, but Hamburg, the only ever-present club in Bundesliga history, face the spectre of a first-ever relegation after going 13 consecutive fixtures without winning.
La Liga: Good day for promoted clubs
Seville-based newcomers Real Betis beat Athletic Bilbao 3-2 on Sunday evening to go level on points with leaders Valencia, who beat tailenders Sporting Gijon 1-0. Both clubs boast the maximum return from three matches so far.
Osasuna visited Barcelona bolstered by a record of just one goal conceded to date, but Barça were patently still smarting from dropping points last weekend and dispensed an 8-0 hiding. Real Madrid stumbled badly in a 1-0 defeat to Levante, but promoted Rayo Vallecano are still undefeated and even posted a first win of the term away to Getafe. Atletico Madrid also won for the first time, beating Racing Santander 4-0.
Top three: Valencia, Betis (both 9 points), Barcelona, Sevilla (both 7)
Bottom three: Santander, Villarreal (both 1), Sporting Gijon (0)
Leading scorers: Lionel Messi, Roberto Soldado (both 5 goals), Cristiano Ronaldo (4)
Weekend stat: 6 – No fewer than six of the ten games on Matchday 3 in Spain ended in 1-0 victories.
Serie A: Four teams make the early running
The Italian season is still only two games old, but the pressure is already building on Inter Milan, beaten 1-0 at home by Trabzonspor in the UEFA Champions League, and held to a goalless draw by Roma on the same ground at the weekend. I Nerazzurri have yet to win this term. Champions AC Milan fared even worse in a 3-1 defeat to Napoli, who move to the Serie A summit on goal difference.
Juventus beat Siena 1-0 and also have two wins in two. Udinese and Cagliari are the other teams on maximum points after a 2-0 victory over Fiorentina and a 2-1 success against promoted Novara respectively.
Top three: Napoli, Juventus, Udinese, Cagliari (all 6 points)
Bottom three: Cesena, Bologna (both 0), Atalanta (-2)
Leading scorers: Edinson Cavani, Sebastian Giovinco (both 3 goals), Antonio di Natale, Fabrizio Miccoli, Diego Milito, Maximiliano Moralez (all 2)
Weekend stat: 0 – Promoted Catania have scored one and conceded none so far, but fellow new boys Siena and Bologna have yet to hit the target.
Ligue 1: Lyon rekindle memories of the glory days
Six matches into the French season, a familiar name is back at the top of the standings. Lyon, champions seven times on the trot up until 2008, won the battle of the Olympiques 2-0 against Marseille and are now a point clear of early front-runners Montpellier, who let slip a 2-0 half-time lead away to Brest and were held to a 2-2 draw. Toulouse beat Bordeaux 3-2 to join Montpellier on 13 points.
Double winners Lille dropped points unexpectedly in a 2-2 draw with Sochaux but remain within touching distance of the top three. Elsewhere, Valenciennes racked up a first win with a 4-0 stroll against promoted Dijon. Fellow newcomers Evian Thonon Gaillard continued their commendable start to life in the top flight with a 2-2 draw against the expensively-assembled Paris St. Germain.
Top three: Olympique Lyon (14 points), Montpellier, Toulouse (both 13)
Bottom three: Valenciennes (4), Nancy, Olympique Marseille (both 3)
Leading scorers: Alain Traore (5 goals), Bafetimbi Gomis, Olivier Giroud, Frederic Sammaritano (all 4)
Weekend stat: 37 – Toulouse were two down at half-time against Bordeaux, but second-half goals from Franck Tabanou (53), Etienne Capoue (59) and Emmanuel Riviere (90) turned the game on its head.
With less than a quarter of the season to go in Estonia, champions Flora Tallinn kept their noses in front of Nomme Kalju in the neck-and-neck contest at the top. Flora beat Tartu Tammeka 4-1, with the men from Nomme winning 2-1 against Viljandi. Narva Trans are not out of it yet after winning 2-0 away to Kuressaare.
The title race in Latvia is no less tense, as the top three all won on Matchday 28. Leaders Ventspils beat Jurmala 2-1 and remain a point clear of Metalurgs Liepaja, 7-1 winners against Olimps Riga, and Daugava Daugavpils, who triumphed 2-1 away to Gulbene.
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