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Liverpool and Monaco turn heads, Messi hits three

Published: Monday 2 September 2013, 0.10CET
Liverpool FC and AS Monaco FC caught the eye with victories against Manchester United FC and Olympique de Marseille, on a weekend when Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick.

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Published: Monday 2 September 2013, 0.10CET

Liverpool and Monaco turn heads, Messi hits three

Liverpool FC and AS Monaco FC caught the eye with victories against Manchester United FC and Olympique de Marseille, on a weekend when Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick.

The new season may still be young in Europe's leading leagues, but there were notable wins this weekend for some illustrious names. Liverpool FC defeated Manchester United FC in the Premier League, with Arsenal FC edging the north London derby, and ambitious AS Monaco FC triumphed at Olympique de Marseille. The news of Gareth Bale's transfer to Real Madrid CF dominated in Spain, but Lionel Messi also grabbed headlines with a hat-trick for FC Barcelona. UEFA.com recaps the action.

England
Liverpool are the only team left with a perfect record in the Premier League after they overcame Manchester United 1-0 at Anfield, Daniel Sturridge making the difference for the third time in three games. "I'm delighted with his application because he was nowhere near fit today," said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. "But even at 70%, he'll be as good, if not better, than a lot of Premier League strikers." Arsenal also enjoyed a notable win, seeing off north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur FC 1-0, while Manchester City FC beat Hull City AFC 2-0 and Newcastle United FC edged Fulham FC 1-0.

France
AS Monaco FC gave a demonstration of their title-winning potential in Ligue 1 with a 2-1 triumph at high-flying Olympique de Marseille, a win that brought another goal for in-form Emmanuel Rivière. The striker nonetheless showed humility after the match, paying tribute to his fellow scorer: "Falcao tired out the Marseille defenders and made it possible for me to find space. I just finished the job." On Saturday, two added-time strikes helped Paris Saint-Germain FC prevail against promoted EA Guingamp and take advantage of Olympique Lyonnais' surprise 2-1 slip-up at Évian Thonon Gaillard FC.

Spain
Villarreal CF are enjoying their return to the Spanish top flight, and on Saturday the Yellow Submarine won 3-0 at CA Osasuna to make it three wins out of three. "The first half was excellent and based on collective work in defence and attack, with superb passing and counterattacking," said delighted coach Marcelino García Toral. Sunday brought wins for the three favourites, meanwhile. Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick as FC Barcelona overcame a resilient Valencia CF 3-2 to match Real Madrid CF, who had earlier sunk Athletic Club 3-1 thanks to Isco's double. For his part, ex-Barça man David Villa sent Club Atlético de Madrid on the way to a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad de Fútbol.

Italy
Champions Juventus continued their fine start to the Serie A campaign with a second win in two games, Arturo Vidal and Marek Hamšík both hitting doubles to sweep aside SS Lazio 4-1 in Turin. "Winning again and putting another four goals past Lazio is a sign of our growing form, both as a collective and as individuals," said coach Antonio Conte. "It's a victory that gives us confidence, but we must never let our concentration slip." SSC Napoli also hit four, breezing to a 4-2 success at AC Chievo Verona, while ACF Fiorentina downed Genoa CFC 5-2, AC Milan defeated Cagliari Calcio 3-1 and both AS Roma and FC Internazionale Milano enjoyed 3-0 triumphs, against Hellas Verona FC and Calcio Catania respectively.

Germany
Borussia Dortmund stand alone with four wins from four games after summer signing Henrik Mkhitaryan scored his first pair of goals in a 2-1 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt. There was joy too for Vedad Ibišević as he notched a hat-trick in VfB Stuttgart's first victory of the campaign, a commanding 6-2 defeat of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. "It was good fun playing today: we've got such a young team and we're very sharp," said the forward. "We showed how good we can be." On Saturday, FC Schalke 04 picked up their first win at the expense of Bayer 04 Leverkusen's perfect record, prevailing 2-0, while Hannover 96 triumphed 4-1 against in-form 1. FSV Mainz 05.

Elsewhere
PEC Zwolle dropped their first points in the Eredivisie this season as they were held to a 1-1 draw by FC Utrecht, but they remain top of the standings with five games played – two points better off than PSV Eindhoven, who drew 0-0 with SC Cambuur Leeuwarden. The big match in Ukraine also ended all-square, with FC Metalist Kharkiv securing a 1-1 stalemate at FC Shakhtar Donetsk that kept the visitors a point above the title holders at the summit. Over in Turkey, Beşiktaş JK boast the only 100% record following their 2-0 bettering of Gaziantepspor, while FC Porto continue to lead the way in Portugal in the wake of their 1-0 victory at FC Paços de Ferreira.

Last updated: 04/12/13 3.29CET

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