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Marseille march on, Milan problems mount

Published: Sunday 23 September 2012, 23.56CET
Manchester United FC caught the eye by winning at Liverpool FC, but Olympique de Marseille are Europe's form side after six wins from six – a record envied by stuttering AC Milan.

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Published: Sunday 23 September 2012, 23.56CET

Marseille march on, Milan problems mount

Manchester United FC caught the eye by winning at Liverpool FC, but Olympique de Marseille are Europe's form side after six wins from six – a record envied by stuttering AC Milan.

The most mouth-watering fixtures may have come in England, where Manchester United FC prevailed at Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC held champions Manchester City FC, but all those sides must be envious of the scintillating form displayed by Olympique de Marseille. The Ligue 1 leaders have now made it six wins out of six to continue their 100% start, with FC Barcelona similarly perfect after five and both FC Bayern München and Eintracht Frankfurt yet to drop a point after four. No such success for AC Milan, in contrast, as they slipped to their third loss in four Serie A outings, as now recaps.

Marseille's superb start to the Ligue 1 season continued with a sixth consecutive win as Morgan Amalfitano made the difference in a 1-0 defeat of Évian Thonon Gaillard. "It wasn't easy at all," said coach Elie Baup afterwards. "Our opponents pressed us a lot, which prevented us from playing our game. We won thanks to our heart." There was joy for Paris Saint-Germain FC too as the capital side made it three straight successes in the league by sweeping aside SC Bastia 4-0, Zlatan Ibrahimović scoring twice, while Olympique Lyonnais drew 1-1 at LOSC Lille and Toulouse FC goalkeeper Ali Ahamada headed in to salvage a 2-2 draw for his side against Stade Rennais FC.

Barcelona show no signs of letting up in the early stages of the Liga season as they posted a fifth straight win, beating Granada CF 2-0 thanks to an 87th-minute stunner from Xavi Hernández and an added-time own goal. "We won the match, and we have a winning dynamic," explained Xavi. "In other seasons, we wouldn't have won this match, but tonight we did. This is what it means to have a winning team." Arch-rivals Real Madrid CF were unable to respond on Sunday as their game at Rayo Vallecano de Madrid was postponed due to a floodlighting problem, while RCD Mallorca moved up to second by besting Valencia CF 2-0. The islanders lie four points behind Barça and level with Málaga CF, who were held to a goalless stalemate at Athletic Club.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his side were "lucky" after coming from behind to seal a 2-1 victory against ten-man Liverpool and their first at Anfield since 2007. "We were very poor," said Sir Alex. "Liverpool dominated the first half and we were lucky. In the second half, we had better statistics in terms of possession but we were playing against ten men so that was disappointing." Chelsea FC remain top of the Premier League standings, but left it late to overcome Stoke City FC 1-0, while Manchester City are seventh after surrendering a lead to draw 1-1 with Arsenal. Everton FC maintained their early-season momentum, meanwhile, sauntering to a stylish 3-0 triumph at Swansea City AFC.

Following his UEFA Champions League heroics in midweek, Fabio Quagliarella came to the rescue again, as his quick-fire double earned Juventus a 2-0 victory against AC Chievo Verona. SSC Napoli are two points back in second after losing their 100% record with a goalless draw at Calcio Catania, while S.S. Lazio surrendered theirs in a 1-0 defeat by Genoa CFC. It was also a weekend to forget for the Milan clubs as FC Internazionale Milano succumbed 2-0 at home to AC Siena and Massimiliano Allegri watched his side, who finished with nine men, suffer a third loss this season at Udinese Calcio. The 45-year-old struck an upbeat note, nonetheless, commenting: "Milan still played good football at times, and this side has all the qualities to get back on track."

Bayern continued their perfect start in the Bundesliga with a 2-0 victory at FC Schalke 04. "It was a very intense performance from both teams, especially in the first half when Schalke matched us," coach Jupp Heynckes told the club's website. Bayern's win also opened up an early five-point lead over champions Borussia Dortmund, who slipped to a 3-2 reverse at Hamburger SV. "It's nice we now have a five-point advantage," Heynckes continued. "But the championship is still a 34-game marathon. We're on a good run but must not ease off." Meanwhile, goals from Erwin Hoffer and Takashi Inui earned surprise-package Frankfurt a 2-1 win at 1. FC Nürnberg on Friday evening, extending their 100% record.

In Russia, FC Terek Grozny's stay at the top of the league was restricted to just one week as a 3-0 home reverse against FC Lokomotiv Moskva allowed PFC CSKA Moskva to jump to the head of the pack. Over in the Netherlands, meanwhile, FC Twente's perfect start continued thanks to a 1-0 home win against sc Heerenveen, and their lead is now four points after second-placed Vitesse were held by Heracles Almelo. HJK Helsinki were unable to usurp FC Inter Turku at the summit in Finland, as Rasmus Schüller and Joni Kauko traded goals in a 1-1 draw, while in Norway defending champions Molde FK returned to top spot as they took advantage of Strømsgodset IF's 3-2 defeat at Viking FK.

Last updated: 04/12/13 19.16CET

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