Perfection is becoming a rare commodity in Europe's most illustrious championships, but FC Barcelona and FC Bayern München still boast unblemished records after both clubs extended their winning starts to six games. Previously faultless Olympique de Marseille found their seventh outing a bridge too far, in contrast, while Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC caught the eye in England and Serie A duo Juventus and SSC Napoli posted impressive wins. UEFA.com recaps the best of the weekend's action.
Barcelona maintained their 100% start to the Liga campaign but needed a rousing comeback to complete a sixth consecutive win. Trailing 2-0 away against Sevilla FC, who finished with ten men, they equalised with a minute to go thanks to Cesc Fàbregas's second goal of the evening and grabbed a late decider courtesy of David Villa. "We felt comfortable at all times," said Fàbregas. "We dominated the match, but sometimes it can get complicated and we have to show our character – and that's what we did." Rivals Real Madrid CF also triumphed, beating RC Deportivo La Coruña 5-1 after Cristiano Ronaldo fired a hat-trick, while second-placed Club Atlético de Madrid won 1-0 at RCD Espanyol and Málaga CF, in third, downed Real Betis Balompié 4-0.
Bayern equalled a club record nine successive victories in all competitions but had to work hard to overcome SV Werder Bremen, eventually prevailing thanks to two goals in the last ten minutes from Luiz Gustavo and Mario Mandžukić. "We slowed things down too much in the first half," said coach Jupp Heynckes. "The players tested my patience a little too much, but at the end of the day, it was enough to beat a strong Bremen side." Borussia Dortmund returned to form in style, bludgeoning five goals past VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach without reply, while Eintracht Frankfurt continue to pour scorn on their underdog status after clinching a fifth Bundesliga success since promotion by rallying to defeat SC Freiburg 2-1.
Tottenham overcame the weight of history when they dramatically dispatched Manchester United FC 3-2 to end an Old Trafford curse that dated back to December 1989. "We wrote history for our team," declared triumphant manager André Villas-Boas, who nonetheless remained pragmatic. "It's just an important three points but hopefully it will also serve as an inspiration for the future." Chelsea continue to set the early pace, meanwhile, after Fernando Torres and Juan Mata scored either side of Gervinho's equaliser to secure victory at Arsenal FC. As for Manchester City FC, they arrested a run of two consecutive draws by coming from behind to beat Fulham FC 2-1 thanks to Edin Džeko's late winner.
Juventus and Napoli both hold 16 points at the top of Serie A following wins after champions Juve overcame AS Roma 4-1 and Napoli prevailed 1-0 at UC Sampdoria. There was joy for FC Internazionale Milano too as they secured a first home success of the campaign, beating ten-man ACF Fiorentina 2-1 to climb up to third, but neighbours AC Milan continue to struggle after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Parma FC. "I'm disappointed with the result and we're all a bit angry because we could have taken home the three points and that would have been a big jump in the league table," commented Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri. In fourth, S.S. Lazio edged AC Siena 2-1.
Marseille were brought down to earth with a bang on Sunday as their perfect run of six straight wins came to an end at Valenciennes FC. Elie Baup's men suffered a 4-1 defeat and needed Jordan Ayew's added-time effort to come away with any sort of consolation. "It's a heavy defeat and the game was over when it was 3-0 at half-time," said Baup. "When you lose by a scoreline like that, it means that few things went right." Everything seems to be clicking for Paris Saint-Germain FC, in contrast, as Carlo Ancelotti's side registered a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 success, brushing FC Sochaux-Montbéliard aside 2-0. They now lie second, with Olympique Lyonnais third following their 2-0 reverse at home to FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
In Portugal, SL Benfica returned to the summit, joining FC Porto on 11 points after the latter were held to a 2-2 draw at Rio Ave FC. Benfica did not make things easy for themselves, though, coming from behind to win 2-1 at FC Paços de Ferreira as Lima scored both. As for FC Shakhtar Donetsk, their remarkable start to the Ukrainian season continued as they came from behind to defeat FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 2-1 and make it ten wins from ten, while FC Twente's perfect start in the Netherlands was ended by AFC Ajax, Christian Eriksen scoring the only goal of the game. Legia Warszawa missed the chance to replace RTS Widzew Łódź at the top in Poland after a 2-2 draw at Zagłębie Lubin, and FC Honka Espoo lifted the Finnish Cup for the first time.
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