There were shocks for two of Europe's leading lights over the weekend as promoted sides Hellas Verona FC and Cardiff City AFC got the better of AC Milan and Manchester City FC respectively in Serie A and the Premier League. There were no such upsets for the big names in Spain and Germany, though, while Paris Saint-Germain FC finally claimed their first success of the nascent Ligue 1 campaign. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Promoted Hellas Verona FC made the biggest impression on the first weekend of the new Serie A season with a 2-1 victory against AC Milan thanks to a pair of efforts from Luca Toni. "The two goals were for my wife Martha and my daughter Bianca," said the 36-year-old striker afterwards. "I didn't score a third because I didn't have anybody to dedicate it to." Champions Juventus experienced no such slip, in contrast, as summer signing Carlos Tévez fired them to a 1-0 success at UC Sampdoria, while Walter Mazzarri's FC Internazionale Milano reign began with a 2-0 defeat of Genoa CFC and SSC Napoli won 3-0 against Bologna FC.
Cardiff City AFC announced their return to the top flight of English football with a memorable 3-2 win against last-season's runners-up Manchester City FC. Having lost at West Ham United FC on the opening weekend, in their first game in top division since the 1961/62 season, the Bluebirds shocked City in their first Premier League game in the Welsh capital. "We showed real character and realised that when we got on the ball we could hurt them. I thought we deserved to win the game," said Cardiff manager Malky Mackay. Tottenham Hotspur FC made it two wins from two with a 1-0 win against Swansea City AFC, as did Liverpool FC against Aston Villa FC, while Arsenal FC got their first points of the campaign with a 3-1 win at Fulham FC.
All four pacesetters won again in the Bundesliga to make it three victories from three. Borussia Dortmund are top on goal difference from Bayer 04 Leverkusen, champions FC Bayern München and 1. FSV Mainz 05. "We have a lot of games ahead of us and we will keep getting a bit better every game," said Robert Lewandowski after scoring Dortmund's winner in the 1-0 triumph against SV Werder Bremen. Leverkusen saw off VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-2 while Bayern defeated 1. FC Nürnberg 2-0. Mainz maintain their unlikely place among the leaders courtesy of a 2-0 home win against VfL Wolfsburg. "Three games, three wins. Things could not be better," said midfielder Nicolai Muller.
FC Barcelona and Club Atlético de Madrid were among four clubs to make it two Liga wins from two on the second weekend of the new season in Spain. Adriano scored the only goal of the game a minute before the break at Málaga CF to earn a tight win for Gerardo Martino's Barça, while Atlético were far more convincing in a 5-0 win against Rayo Vallecano de Madrid. "We played with a very high pressure for much of the game," said Atléti coach Diego Simeone. "We were able to steal the ball to hurt them and that was what we wanted to do." Athletic Club also maintained a perfect start courtesy of a 2-0 win against CA Osasuna, while Villarreal CF made it a pair of wins as they edged past Real Valladolid CF 2-1.
Champions Paris Saint-Germain FC got their defence under way at the third time of asking as they picked up their first win of the season at FC Nantes. Laurent Blanc's side trail leaders Olympique de Marseille by four points after OM maintained their perfect start with a third win from three at Valenciennes FC courtesy of André-Pierre Gignac's late goal. "It is better to score in the final moments, there is less time to hold on," joked the forward. "This performance bodes well." AS Monaco FC dropped points for the first time, drawing 0-0 at home with Toulouse FC, while Olympique Lyonnais's winning start was also ended, falling 1-0 to Stade de Reims..
PSV Eindhoven dropped their first points of the Eredivisie season in a 1-1 draw at Heracles Almelo, allowing PEC Zwolle to go top. The new leaders have never lifted the title before but maintain a perfect record after four games thanks to their 2-0 win against SC Cambuur Leeuwarden. In Russia, champions PFC CSKA Moskva moved to the summit following a 2-1 win at FC Tom Tomsk, although FC Rostov and FC Spartak Moskva both have a game in hand. FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk inflicted a 3-1 defeat on FC Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, meanwhile, and SL Benfica got their first points of their campaign in Portugal with a 2-1 victory against Gil Vicente FC, while Sporting Clube de Portugal and FC Porto made it two wins from two.
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