AS Roma could not extend their perfect start to the Serie A season as they dropped points at the 11th time of asking, but elsewhere the weekend brought victories for the frontrunners in Europe's leading championships. Arsenal FC streaked five points clear in England, the top two remain a point apart in Italy and Germany, and Paris Saint-Germain profited from a loss for AS Monaco FC at LOSC Lille to move two points ahead in France. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Roma's sparkling start to the season finally suffered a blip as the Giallorossi were held 1-1 by Torino FC, dropping their first points of the season in the process. "We're still first and you cannot win every game," said Daniele De Rossi. "It's a shame we conceded during a moment of slight relaxation. That can happen, especially after this great start to the season." Before that, SSC Napoli and Juventus had moved to within two points of the Serie A pacesetters following slender victories against Calcio Catania and Parma FC respectively. FC Internazionale Milano triumphed 3-0 at Udinese Calcio to return fourth, but city rivals AC Milan suffered a fifth reverse as they fell 2-0 at home to ACF Fiorentina.
Arsenal strode five points clear at the Premier League summit after defeating nearest challengers Liverpool FC 2-0 courtesy of goals in either half from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey. "It was important to respond to convince people that we can win these big games," enthused Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger. "To win it in a convincing way is even more important." Elsewhere, second-placed Chelsea FC succumbed 2-0 at Newcastle United FC, and were joined alongside Liverpool by Tottenham Hotspur FC, who drew 0-0 at Everton FC. Below them, Manchester City FC sunk Norwich City FC 7-0 and Manchester United FC's return to form continued with a 3-1 success at Fulham FC.
Paris consolidated their position atop the Ligue 1 standings on Friday as Edinson Cavani struck twice in a 4-0 rout of FC Lorient. "It's always a pleasure to play and when you win, it's even better. We made the match so much easier by scoring early and the rest just followed," said defender Lucas Digne. The left-back's old club LOSC Lille are two points back in second, meanwhile, after leapfrogging AS Monaco FC with a 2-0 home success against the principality side. Fourth-placed FC Nantes drew 1-1 at Montpellier Hérault SC and that was also the result for Olympique de Marseille at Stade Rennais FC as the visitors halted their run of defeats.
Alexis Sánchez scored 22 minutes from time as FC Barcelona overcame city rivals RCD Espanyol 1-0 to extend their unbeaten start to the season. "We are nearly perfect when it comes to results," said coach Gerardo Martino. "We are capable of playing better, we can always play better." Indeed, Club Atlético de Madrid are refusing to let them out of their sights after seeing off Athletic Club 2-0 to stay a point behind, David Villa and Diego Costa on target. Six points off the top, meanwhile, Real Madrid CF withstood a second-half fightback from lowly Rayo Vallecano de Madrid to win 3-2.
FC Bayern München equalled Hamburger SV's 36-match unbeaten Bundesliga sequence from 1982 to 1983 by edging TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-1. The result also lifted Josep Guardiola's side back to the top after being momentarily displaced by Borussia Dortmund, who demolished VfB Stuttgart 6-1 on Friday. "It certainly wasn't our best performance, but we won," said Guardiola. "Not everything was perfect, and we'll need to correct the way we're playing. As for third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen, they lost 1-0 at bottom team TSV Eintracht Braunschweig, while there were wins for VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Schalke 04.
The Athens derby went Olympiacos FC's way as Panathinaikos FC proved unable to trip up the Greek Super League leaders, Kostas Mitroglou hitting the only goal in the final minute. Over in Portugal, FC Porto's lead was cut to three points as they drew 1-1 at CF Os Belenenses, allowing Sporting Clube de Portugal and SL Benfica to close in. Neither of the top two could win in Ukraine, meanwhile, but pacesetters FC Metalist Kharkiv extended their cushion by a point as FC Shakhtar Donetsk lost. Lastly, FC Twente surrendered top spot in the Netherlands, drawing 2-2 with lowly NEC Nijmegen to allow AZ Alkmaar to go top and Vitesse, victorious at AFC Ajax, second.
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