While the leading clubs across much of Europe jostled for early-season supremacy at the weekend, Rosenborg BK were celebrating their 12th successive Norwegian championship in Scandinavia.
Games to spare
Rosenborg clinched the title with four games to spare after defeating their nearest challengers, FK Bodø/Glimt, 5-4 in a thrilling encounter at the Lerkendal stadium on Sunday. They only needed a draw to secure the silverware but raced into a 4-0 lead through goals from Vidar Riseth, Frode Johnsen, Oyvind Storflor and Harald Brattbakk.
Fredrik Kjolner pulled one back for Bodø/Glimt only for Rosenborg substitute Roar Strand to restore the four-goal cushion - although the visitors threatened a remarkable comeback with Runar Berg's penalty and late goals from Olav Rastad and Aasmund Björkan.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, FC Basel equalled a 22-year record when they defeated BSC Young Boys 2-0 on Sunday to rack up their eleventh successive win since the start of the season.
Two first-half goals from Marco Streller maintained Basel's 100 per cent start to the campaign and set up Christian Gross's side, whose winning sequence matches the start enjoyed by Servette FC in the 1981/82 season, for a new record should they claim victory against Neuchâtel Xamax FC on Thursday.
Seventh straight win
Rangers FC also maintained their perfect record this season, winning 3-1 against Dundee FC for a seventh successive league victory. Two goals from Shota Arveladze and one from Paolo Vanoli gave Alex McLeish's side the perfect preparation for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League tie at Panathinaikos FC.
Champions League contenders
Scotland's other Champions League representatives also warmed up with a victory, Celtic FC winning 2-1 at Hibernian FC, while in Serbia and Montenegro, another Champions League contender, FK Partizan, defeated FK Vojvodina 2-1. AC Sparta Praha of the Czech Republic, who visit S.S. Lazio this week, were even more emphatic winners, recording a 4-0 success at FK Chmel Blšany.
The Latvian Cup final was decided at the weekend, with FK Ventspils winning 4-0 at FC Skonto to claim the trophy for the first time in their history. First-half goals from Andrei Agafonov, Maris Smirnovs and Vits Rimkus put the visitors in complete control, before an Igoris Stukalins penalty rounded off a historic win.
In Denmark, Brøndby IF's unexpected 3-0 defeat at home to FC Midtjylland gave Esbjerg IF the chance to take over at the top of the Superliga with a 2-0 win against Herfølge BK. Elsewhere, Bulgaria's PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv increased their lead in the A PFG - despite dropping their first points of the season after a goalless draw at PFC Lokomotiv Sofia - as second-placed PFC CSKA Sofia were beaten 3-1 at PFC Botev Plovdiv.
Finally, Estonian champions FC Flora continued to set the pace, thanks, in no small part, to the scoring feats of Norwegian striker Tor Henning Hamre, who has contributed six goals in his last two games to take his tally for the season to 30 goals from 22 league matches. Hamre has now scored in 13 consecutive matches.
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