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Messi lifts Barça, misery for Madrid and Milan

Published: Monday 27 August 2012, 0.54CET
Lionel Messi helped FC Barcelona leave Real Madrid CF five points in their wake after two games, on a weekend when AC Milan lost at home and Paris Saint-Germain FC again fired blanks.

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Published: Monday 27 August 2012, 0.54CET

Messi lifts Barça, misery for Madrid and Milan

Lionel Messi helped FC Barcelona leave Real Madrid CF five points in their wake after two games, on a weekend when AC Milan lost at home and Paris Saint-Germain FC again fired blanks.

Not for the first time, Lionel Messi was the hero for FC Barcelona as his late double drove Tito Vilanova's men to their second Liga success of the season, putting them five points clear of Real Madrid CF already. In Italy, AC Milan began their Serie A bid with a shock home loss to promoted Sampdoria, while Ligue 1 favourites Paris Saint-Germain FC are still winless and both Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München are up and running in the Bundesliga. recaps the best of the action.

After notching 50 Liga goals last term, Messi struck twice late on to earn Barcelona a 2-1 comeback win at CA Osasuna and their second triumph in two league outings. "We always find it difficult at this stadium and once again we started by going behind, but we turned things around and got the win," explained the Argentinian forward. Champions Madrid are still without a victory, meanwhile, as they slumped to a 2-1 loss at neighbours Getafe CF, while Rayo Vallecano de Madrid posted another success by beating Real Betis Balompié 2-1 and Málaga CF drew 1-1 with RCD Mallorca.

The new Serie A season is under way and not without at least one eye-catching result, with Milan suffering a 1-0 home reverse at the hands of promoted UC Sampdoria. "We hit the woodwork, and forced goal-line clearances and saves," commented Rossoneri coach Massimiliano Allegri. "I cannot ask for anything more from my players at the moment." Milan's city rivals FC Internazionale Milano fared much better as they prevailed 3-0 at Pescara, and champions Juventus got going with a comfortable 2-0 defeat of Parma FC. As for SSC Napoli, they enjoyed a 3-0 success at US Città di Palermo, and ACF Fiorentina downed UEFA Champions League play-off hopefuls Udinese Calcio 2-1.

Carlos Tévez registered his 100th goal in English football on Sunday to earn a late draw for champions Manchester City FC at Liverpool FC. The Argentinian took advantage of Martin Škrtel's loose pass ten minutes from time as City equalised for a second time. "We are not 100% for many reasons," said City manager Roberto Mancini. "It's important we didn't lose this game. We got a gift from Liverpool." The day before, Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa scored on their home debuts as Manchester United FC got a first win of the season, 3-2 against Fulham FC, while Chelsea FC, Swansea City AFC and Everton FC maintained 100% records with victories against Newcastle United FC, West Ham United FC and Aston Villa FC respectively.

Bayern have made an early move to the top of the Bundesliga standings courtesy of a 3-0 win at promoted SpVgg Greuther Fürth in their opening assignment, Thomas Müller, Mario Mandžukić and Arjen Robben finding the net. "We have high expectations of this season," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. "The team are highly motivated. We've worked very well, so the result is not a surprise for me." Elsewhere, defending champions Dortmund kicked off by edging SV Werder Bremen 2-1, with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach seeing off TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-1 and FC Schalke 04 having to settle for a 2-2 stalemate at Hannover 96.

Olympique de Marseille sit proudly on top of the pile in Ligue 1 after eking out a 1-0 triumph at champions Montpellier Hérault SC, André-Pierre Gignac securing the visitors' third win in three games. OM's joy contrasts starkly with the frustration felt by Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, with the big-spending capital side still without a win following their goalless draw against FC Girondins de Bordeaux. "There's no reason why we won't find solutions in the coming weeks given our individual talent," said PSG defender Sylvain Armand. "We have to get forward quicker with fewer passes." As for Olympique Lyonnais, their trip to Évian Thonon Gaillard FC ended 1-1, while LOSC Lille drew 2-2 at OGC Nice.

FC Zenit St Petersburg remain top in Russia despite suffering a first loss of the season as they went down 2-1 at home to FC Rubin Kazan. There were no such worries for FC Shakhtar Donetsk, though, as their perfect start continued in Ukraine, Dentinho, Luiz Adriano and Henrik Mkhitaryan easing them past FC Karpaty Lviv. Over in the Netherlands, FC Twente are enjoying the view from the summit following their 3-1 success at NEC Nijmegen, while FC Porto and SL Benfica got their first wins of the season in Portugal. Elsewhere, silverware was claimed as the Faroese Cup reached a dramatic climax, with Víkingur holding their nerve to defeat EB/Streymur on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Last updated: 05/12/13 3.03CET

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