Blackpool FC and Chelsea FC enjoyed afternoons to remember on the opening day of the Premier League season, while Aberdeen FC's Paul Hartley had cause for celebration, too, after scoring an unusual hat-trick against Hamilton Academical FC. There was disappointment, however, for Galatasaray AŞ as the campaign began in Turkey and also for Olympique de Marseille, who have now lost both their Ligue 1 matches this term.
Didier Drogba scored three as champions Chelsea issued an ominous warning to their title rivals by defeating West Bromwich Albion FC 6-0 at Stamford Bridge. Drogba's strikes (45, 55, 68) and a Frank Lampard effort (63) sandwiched those of Florent Malouda, who started and finished the scoring for a team which registered 103 league goals last season.
Blackpool were also big winners. Appearing in the top flight for the first time since 1970/71, the Lancashire club were 4-0 victors at Wigan Athletic FC, debutant Marlon Harewood scoring twice. Elsewhere, an outstanding display from goalkeeper Joe Hart ensured Manchester City FC drew 0-0 at Tottenham Hotspur FC and managerless Aston Villa FC overcame West Ham United FC 3-0.
Marseille lost only six games on their way to the title in 2009/10 but are already a third of the way to matching that after a 3-2 defeat by Valenciennes FC. Two goals from Grégory Pujol helped put the hosts three up before Didier Deschamps' team – beaten by SM Caan last week – reduced their arrears through Taye Taiwo's spot kick (82) and André Ayew (85).
UEFA Champions League play-off contenders AJ Auxerre drew 1-1 at Stade Brestois 29, while Stade Rennais FC and OGC Nice are level with Valenciennes at the top on four points following respective victories at ten-man AS Nancy-Lorraine (3-0) and FC Lorient (2-1).
SC Braga kicked off the new Liga season with a 3-1 win against Portimonense SC on Friday night and FC Porto were quick to follow suit with a 1-0 victory away to A. Naval 1° Maio on Saturday, Hulk getting the only goal six minutes from time. Sporting Clube de Portugal, meanwhile, lost 1-0 at FC Paços de Ferreira. Champions SL Benfica launch their Liga title defence at home to A. Académica de Coimbra on Sunday.
Galatasaray looked to be on their way to three points at Sivasspor when Mustafa Sarp fired the Istanbul club in front after seven minutes, only for Bruno (43) and Cihan Yılmaz (60) to turn the game in the hosts' favour. Bobô scored the only goal as Beşiktaş JK triumphed at Bucaspor.
Rest of Europe
Celtic FC and Rangers FC both recorded opening wins – 1-0 at Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC and 2-1 against Kilmarnock FC respectively – in the Scottish Premier League. The day, though, belonged to Hartley, who struck a hat-trick of penalties on his competitive debut as Aberdeen beat Hamilton 4-0.
Ola Toivonen also walked away with the matchball after scoring three in PSV Eindhoven's 6-0 thrashing of ten-man De Graafschap, while AFC Ajax won 4-2 at home against BV Vitesse and titleholders FC Twente drew 0-0 with SC Heerenveen. In Russia, FC Zenit St. Petersburg remain unbeaten after 16 matches of the 2010 season following a 1-1 draw with FC Dinamo Moskva.
Elsewhere, BSC Young Boys succumbed 1-0 at home to Neuchâtel Xamax FC and FC Basel 1893 − who had goalkeeper Franco Costanzo (52) dismissed − slumped to a 4-1 home defeat by in form FC Luzern.
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