An unexpected card, a moment of French passion and a Samuel Eto'o hat-trick are among the highlights in UEFA.com's pick of the week's major movers and shakers across the continent.
Team: 1. FSV 05 Mainz
Six league wins out of six. Top of the table. Conquerors of FC Bayern München. Mainz already topped the Bundesliga pile five fixtures in but it was Saturday's 2-1 triumph at Bayern which caused eyebrows to be raised even higher across Germany. Pegged back once by Louis van Gaal's side, Mainz's belief never wavered and Ádám Szalai's goal 13 minutes from time earned a historic victory and a three-point cushion at the head of the table.
Match: FC Steaua Bucureşti 3-3 SSC Napoli
Held 0-0 on Matchday 1 and three behind after just 16 minutes in Romania, Napoli could have been forgiven for fearing the worst in their second UEFA Europa League Group K fixture. By half-time, though, Steaua were down to ten men and Luigi Vitale had reduced the deficit to two. Marek Hamšík halved the arrears with 17 minutes remaining but it was left to Edinson Cavani to play out the final act of a remarkable game with the equalising goal in the eighth minute of added time.
Player: Samuel Eto'o
Eto'o is a man who knows where the goal is. Five times in as many Serie A games he has found the net for FC Internazionale Milano this season, but it is the Cameroonian striker's hat-trick against SV Werder Bremen which earns him our lofty praise this week. Clinical in the extreme with a trio of consummate finishes, not to mention a delightful assist for Wesley Sneijder's goal, Eto'o once again proved he is worth his weight in goals.
Quote: Erik Hamrén (Sweden)
"The Netherlands are second in the FIFA rankings and we are 32nd. There's no doubt who the favourite is. I like to daydream from time to time, though, and in my head we've played a number of matches against the Netherlands – and won them all!"
Hamrén allows his mind to run away from him ahead of his side's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Amsterdam on 12 October.
Good cop, bad cop: Felipe Melo
Thirteen yellow and two red cards in his debut season with Juventus earned Melo little popularity among the Italian top flight's refereeing fraternity. It seems, however, that the Brazilian midfielder is a changed man. Melo has still been booked twice in five games this term but received a far more affectionate card from from the official in charge of Sunday's 4-2 win against Cagliari Calcio. "To the good brother of last season's Felipe Melo," it read. "I gave him my shirt in exchange," Melo added.
On-screen kiss: Christophe Galtier and Alain Blachon
AS Saint-Étienne's rise to the Ligue 1 summit has stoked up plenty of excitement in itself but it is the antics of the club's coach, Galtier, and assistant Blachon that has really got tongues wagging – so to speak. Ecstatic at their 1-0 victory against Olympique Lyonnais in the 100th Derby du Rhone et de la Loire, Blachon jumped on Galtier and planted a lingering kiss on his lips. "I was sure I would be under fire for this," said Galtier after being caught on camera. "Keep quiet, it's just a bet. We did the same when we escaped relegation last season and he told me: 'I'll kiss you on the lips if we prevail in Lyon.' And he did it."
Managerial merry-go-round: Bnei Sakhnin FC
Job security has never been one of the overriding benefits of going into life as a coach, but for those who find themselves in the hot seat at Israeli Premier League side Bnei Sakhnin, alternative employment never seems far away. Just four games into the new campaign and, bottom of the table, they have a fourth man in charge since the end of last season. Marko Balbul guided them to seventh last term but was dismissed in the summer, swiftly followed by Yuval Naim, before Haim Levy was given three games to prove his worth. Or otherwise. Over to Slobodan Drapic…
Paying the penalty eventually: Rafael van der Vaart
Tottenham's first UEFA Champions League group stage game at White Hart Lane certainly lived up to expectation. Van der Vaart's penalty miss had the north London faithful biting their nails but he soon redeemed himself in open play to set them on their way to a 4-1 triumph. In a week packed full of penalties, Roman Pavlyuchenko scored twice from the spot, by which time Van der Vaart was long gone after being shown a red card on an eventful night for the Netherlands midfielder.
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