UEFA Champions League contenders Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC sent out powerful messages in the Premier League with six-goal showings but their German equivalents fared less well in their Bundesliga openers, SV Werder Bremen and FC Schalke 04 on the end of away defeats. Saturday was also memorable for FC Spartak Moskva striker Welliton, who hit a hat-trick for the second game in succession.
Ruud van Nistelrooy scored both goals as Hamburger SV began the Bundesliga campaign with an entertaining 2-1 home win against Schalke. The striker's second came after Felix Magath's outfit had equalised through Jefferson Farfán (80) despite Benedikt Höwedes' dismissal on the hour.
Bremen made the perfect start at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim when Torsten Frings converted a third-minute penalty. However, that was as good as it got for the UEFA Champions League play-off hopefuls, who conceded four goals in a 23-minute spell before the interval en route to a 4-1 loss. Quick-fire strikes also made the difference at SC Freiburg, where visitors FC St. Pauli struck three times in the final seven minutes having gone behind to Papiss Demba Cissé's 78th-minute opener.
With Manchester United FC and Aston Villa FC in action on Sunday, Chelsea are the only club to have maximum points from their first two games after a 6-0 victory at Wigan Athletic FC. Nicolas Anelka and substitute Salomon Kalou each scored twice after the break as Carlo Ancelotti's men matched the scoreline from their league opener against West Bromwich Albion FC last weekend.
Wigan, West Ham United FC and Stoke City FC remain pointless after consecutive reverses, the latter losing 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur FC courtesy of two first-half strikes by Gareth Bale. Ten-man Blackpool FC, 4-0 winners at Wigan last Saturday, were brought down to earth as Theo Walcott struck a hat-trick in a 6-0 success for Arsenal. A debut goal for Peter Odemwingie edged West Brom past Sunderland AFC while Craig Gardner's double helped Birmingham City FC beat Blackburn Rovers FC 2-1.
There was relief for Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais as they broke their Ligue 1 ducks at the third attempt but the pair are still playing catch up on pacesetters Toulouse FC after they maintained their perfect record. Champions Marseille responded to back-to-back defeats by overcoming FC Lorient 2-0, defenders Gabriel Heinze (6) and Taye Taiwo (72) striking for Didier Deschamps' charges.
Lyon also opened the scoring early on with Jean Makoun's 19th-minute effort sufficient to overcome visitors Stade Brestois 29. Toulouse were grateful to goals in either half from Daniel Braaten and Étienne Didot as they defeated AC Arles-Avignon 2-1. SM Caen will join them on nine points should they win at Montpellier Hérault SC on Sunday.
Titleholders SL Benfica have emulated Marseille's unwanted feat of losing their first two matches after a 2-1 setback at CD Nacional, for whom Luís Alberto (50) and Orlando Sá (66) were on target. The Madeira outfit are two points clear of SC Braga in the fledgling table following a goalless draw for Domingos Paciência's team at Vitória FC. FC Porto and FC Paços de Ferreira can join leaders Nacional on six points by winning their respective fixtures on Sunday.
Rest of Europe
Welliton struck three times in six minutes as Spartak defeated FC Tom Tomsk 4-2 in the Russian capital. The Brazilian, who has 13 goals in 14 league appearances this term, also scored three last time out in his side's 3-2 win at FC Lokomotiv Moskva.
Elsewhere, FC Basel 1893 were denied a first victory in three Super League games by Milaim Rama's 85th-minute equaliser for FC Thun, Danish Superligaen leaders FC København were 3-0 winners against Lyngby BK and a double from Mounir El Hamdaoui helped AFC Ajax to a 3-0 defeat of Roda JC.
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