Trio of champions held to draws
A week after the big kick-off in France, the battle for points also restarted in Germany and England. And with the reigning Ligue 1, Bundesliga and Premier League champions all dropping points, FIFA.com reflects on a weekend of excitement and surprise across Europe.
Premier League: Chelsea go top as United held
Chelsea strolled to a 4-0 victory over FA Cup holders Portsmouth to go straight to the top of the table. Goals from Joe Cole, Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard and new signing Deco gave boss Luiz Felipe Scolari the best possible start to his reign at Stamford Bridge. By contrast, champions Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Newcastle United.
The honour of netting the first goal of the 2008-9 campaign fell to Arsenal's French starlet Samir Nasri. The Gunners' newcomer scored the only goal of the game in the fourth minute of his debut at home to promoted West Bromwich Albion. The 21-year-old switched to north London from Olympique Marseille in the close season for €15 million. Liverpool opened with a 1-0 away win against Sunderland courtesy of Spanish Euro 2008 hero Fernando Torres.
Top three: Chelsea, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers (all 3 points)
Bottom three: Manchester City, Stoke City, Portsmouth (all no points)
Top scorers: Gabriel Agbonlahor (3 goals), Dean Ashton (2)
Weekend stat: Chelsea are now unbeaten in 83 matches at home.
Bundesliga: Bayern and Bremen thwarted
Jurgen Klinsmann’s league debut in club coaching ended with his Bayern Munich side drawing 2-2 with Hamburg, who fought back impressively after their hosts went two goals up in the first 16 minutes. Last season’s runners-up Werder Bremen led twice, but were also pegged back to a 2-2 draw at Arminia Bielefeld.
The lead after the first round is shared by two clubs, both 3-0 winners. Promoted Hoffenheim triumphed at Energie Cottbus, while Schalke saw off Hannover at home, effectively wrapping up the points right at the start with goals in the second and seventh minutes.
Top three: Hoffenheim, Schalke, Stuttgart (all 3 points)
Bottom three: Hannover, Energie Cottbus, Eintracht Frankfurt (all 0 points)
Top scorers: Arthur Wichniarek, Kevin Kuranyi, Markus Rosenberg, Vedad Ibisevic (all 2 goals)
Weekend stat: It was a fast and furious restart in the Bundesliga, as nine of the weekend’s 29 goals were scored within the first 20 minutes of games.
Ligue 1: New arrivals claim top spot
Few would have predicted it before the season started, but two games into the campaign, a newly-promoted side top the standings. Grenoble sit alone on maximum points after a 1-0 defeat of Rennes to follow up their opening-day success.
They are followed by a quartet of teams on four points, namely Marseille, Monaco, Lyon and Lorient. The latter pair played out a goalless draw on Sunday, OM beat Auxerre 4-0, and Monaco were held 1-1 by Nantes.
Top three: Grenoble (6 points), Marseille, Lyon (both 4 points)
Bottom three: Nancy, Lille (both 1 point), Sochaux (0)
Top scorers: Nassim Akrour, Modibo Maiga, Karim Benzema, Olivier Thomert (all 2 goals)
Weekend stat: Sochaux are rooted to the bottom of Ligue 1 as the only club still to get off the mark after two matches.
Swiss double winners Basel ran out commanding 4-1 victors over third-placed FC Zurich to go top of the AXPO Super League. Carlitos’ second-half brace sealed victory for the champions.
In the Russian Premier Liga, Rubin Kazan won 2-1 at Tom Tomsk and remain top of the standings on 36 points. Amkar Perm, in third, drew 1-1 with fourth-placed Spartak Moscow, leaving the pair seven points off the pace with 18 games played. Dinamo Moscow beat Spartak Nalchik 1-0 to cement their grip on second place.