All change at the top
While the league leaders continued their charge in Brazil and Russia, there were dramatic upheavals in Japan and the USA, as the competition front-runners suffered heavy defeats. Elsewhere, there were plenty of goals on the opening day in France, including an extraordinary eight-goal thriller, and a stutter for the defending champions in Argentina.
Brasileirao: Gremio surge clear
With an emphatic 4-0 win away to Atletico Mineiro, Gremio went five points clear at the top of the Brasileirao; Magrao gave the Tricolor the lead in the 36th minute, and a second-half penalty followed by a late Reinaldo double secured a memorable result for the visitors. Gremio's closest rivals both had weekends to forget, Cruzeiro going down 2-1 at Portuguesa while Palmeiras were undone by a late Botafogo goal at the Engenhão.
Big game: It looked like being another frustrating afternoon for erstwhile leaders Flamengo, who were kept scoreless at home by Atletico Paranaense for over an hour. But on-loan midfielder Jailton nipped in to score in the 76th minute, to give O Mengão a badly-needed three points.
Headline-grabber: Just who can stop Keirrison scoring? After a brace against Sport Recife, which helped Coritiba to a 3-0 victory, the 19-year-old now has six goals from his last three games.
Japanese J-League: Shock defeat for leaders
In an extraordinary round of J-League action, leaders Kashima Antlers suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of JEF United Ichihara, the league's back-markers. The dismissal of key midfielder Danilo early in the second half didn't help Antlers' cause, and JEF's international striker Seiichiro Maki slotted home two goals thereafter, to add to Australian Eddy Bosnar's first-half effort. It was some consolation for Akira Nishino's side that title rivals Nagoya and Gamba also suffered losses, to FC Tokyo and Yokohama F Marinos respectively.
Big game: There was high drama in Saitama, as Asian Champions Urawa Reds and Kashiwa Reysol played out a thrilling 2-2 draw. Urawa looked to have sealed the points when Yuichiro Nagai combined with Japanese international Naohiro Takahara to give the home side an 89th-minute lead, but Brazilian Franca struck a long-range equalizer for the visitors less than a minute later.
Headline-grabber: Kawasaki Frontale forward Masaru Kurotsu scored his first goal of the season just before half-time against Kyoto Purple Sanga. He enjoyed the feeling so much, that he decided to do it again just after the break, bringing his side back into contact with the leading group in the process.
Major League Soccer: Counter-Revolution
It looked like business as usual for New England Revolution when Taylor Twellman headed Steve Nicol's side into the lead after only three minutes. But the home side, tired from their SuperLiga exploits on Tuesday, began to lose the thread of the game, and when Shalrie Joseph was sent off late in the second half, the Fire took full advantage, scoring twice in the final ten minutes to stun the Eastern Conference leaders.
Big game: New York Red Bulls, inspired by their Colombian star Juan Pablo Angel, outclassed DC United in a stellar performance at Giants Stadium. Jaime Moreno, so often New York's nemesis in the past, gave the visitors a 16th minute lead, but four unanswered goals for the home side thereafter propelled Red Bulls into playoff contention.
Headline-grabber: Kansas City's veteran Argentinian Claudio Lopez showed some of the form that once made him a hero for Valencia, inspiring his side to a 3-2 victory over CD Chivas, and chipping in with a goal.
Russian Premier League: Kazan crush champions
Leaders Rubin Kazan certainly made a statement of intent by thrashing reigning champions and UEFA Cup holders Zenit St. Petersburg 4-1. Two Zenit players were sent off in the second half, including Anatoly Tymoschuk, but given that Rubin were 3-1 ahead prior to the first dismissal, Dick Advocaat's team can have few complaints. Saturn was another team to finish the round with nine men, as they went down 4-0 to a rejuvenated CSKA Moscow.
Big game: The battle between Dinamo and Amkar, locked together two points adrift of the leaders, was as intense as expected, and it took an early own goal from Amkar's Belarusian youngster Mikhail Afanasyev to hand Dinamo the vital three points.
Headline-grabber: Let no-one cast aspersions on FIFA.com's crystal ball: we picked CSKA's Vagner Love as the man to break their scoring drought, and sure enough, the Brazilian frontman found the net twice in the first half to set his side on the road to a 4-0 away win over Saturn.
River Plate did not have the best of starts in their Argentinian title defence, held 1-1 at Colon on the opening day of the Apertura. Eternal Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors had a happier beginning, thumping 10-man Gimnasia 4-0 at home, while Estudiantes went down 3-2 in a lively encounter at Rosario Central.
Lyon began their search for an eighth successive Ligue 1 triumph in emphatic style, cruising to a 3-0 victory over Toulouse with two goals for striking sensation Karim Benzema. Bordeaux started off with a 2-1 home win over Caen, while Marseille, leading 3-1 at Rennes in a topsy-turvy battle, were pegged back to 4-4 at the final whistle thanks to a late goal from Bruno Cheyrou.