Another busy weekend of domestic action produced mixed fortunes for those teams with European aspirations this season.
More woe for Leverkusen
In the German 1. Bundesliga, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, last season's beaten UEFA Champions League finalists, are still seeking their first win of the season after a 4-2 defeat at home against table-topping VfL Bochum 1848. FC Bayern München go from strength to strength as a Claudio Pizarro double helped the 2001 European Cup winners to a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Hamburger SV, while champions BV Borussia Dortmund defeated VfL Stuttgart 3-1.
Ryan Giggs's 100th goal for Manchester United FC earned a point for Sir Alex Ferguson's side in a pulsating 2-2 draw with Chelsea FC in the English Premiership on Friday. Fellow European hopefuls Newcastle United FC, who face FK Zeljeznicar in the Champions League third qualifying round on Wednesday, were haunted by former manager Kevin Keegan as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Manchester City FC, while Arsenal FC remain unbeaten since December after coming from behind to draw 2-2 with West Ham United FC in a thrilling London derby at Upton Park.
Super Cup joy
With league action in Spain and Italy yet to resume, RC Deportivo La Coruña and Juventus FC won their first silverware of the new season with Super Cup victories yesterday. A last-minute goal from Víctor Sánchez gave Deportivo a 1-0 second-leg win and 4-0 aggregate successs against ten-man Valencia CF in Spain, and Italy international Alessandro Del Piero scored twice to give Juventus a 2-1 victory against Parma AC in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Nice lead the way
Newly promoted OGC Nice lead the way in Le Championnat after a 2-1 win against Montpellier Hérault SC on Saturday, but Guy Roux's AJ Auxerre, in Champions League action against Boavista FC this week, are hot on the heels of the south-coast club after a 2-1 victory against En Avant Guingamp. Elsewhere in France, a last-gasp header from Brazilian José Aloisio gave Paris Saint-Germain FC a 1-0 win at Le Havre AC to keep them in touch with the leaders.
Sporting Clube de Portugal, who travel to face Internazionale FC in the Champions League tomorrow, began their title defence with a comfortable 2-0 defeat of newly promoted Clube Académica de Coimbra. Sporting's city rivals SL Benfica made an equally solid start, despatching CS Marítimo 3-0, while FC Porto could only manage a 2-2 draw with CF Os Belenenses.
Feyenoord, who are set for a busy week of Champions League and UEFA Super Cup action, had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Roda JC on Saturday. The UEFA Cup winners face Fenerbahçe SK in Turkey in the Champions League before travelling Monaco to take on Real Madrid CF in the Super Cup on Friday evening. Elsewhere in the Eredivise, a Cristian Chivu free-kick for AFC Ajax 13 minutes from time brought SBV Vitesse's 20-match unbeaten home run to an end, while PSV Eindhoven kept up their 100 per cent record with victory over FC Groningen.
Winning start for Galatasaray
Fenerbahçe did not play at the weekend after the Turkish Football Association (TFF) allowed them extra time to prepare for the Feyenoord match, but Galatasaray SK's winning start to the season continued as they claimed a third straight victory at home to Bursaspor. In the Austrian Bundesliga, the 111th Grazer derby produced a 2-1 victory for Grazer AK over SK Sturm Graz but FK Austria Wien kept their advantage at the top of the table thanks to a 3-1 home win over Schwarz-Weiss Bregenz.
RSC Anderlecht made it three wins from three games with a 2-0 away success at R. Standard de Liège and Club Brugge KV also have a 100 per cent record after they prevailed 2-0 at rock-bottom KVC Westerlo in Belgium. The Czech Republic's two Champions League representatives, AC Sparta Praha and FC Slovan Liberec, warmed up for their third qualifying round second-leg ties with 1. liga victories at the weekend.
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