The opening day of the Turkish season saw champions Besiktas JK get into the swing of things, winning 3-1 at Samsunspor on Friday, and Istanbul neighbours Galatasaray SK kick off their campaign with a 2-1 home victory against Diyarbakirspor on Saturday.
However, there were surprises elsewhere as Gaziantepspor were held to a stalemate at Bursaspor, Trabzonspor were pegged back to draw 3-3 at Konyaspor and, most surprising of all, Gençlerbirligi SK were beaten 3-2 at home by Elazigspor.
However, it was Sunday's Istanbul derby that was the real story as Christoph Daum's new-look Fenerbahçe SK team lost 3-0 at home against Istanbulspor AS. Elsewhere, Malatyaspor won 1-0 at Adanaspor AS, Denizlispor prevailed 2-0 at Akçaabat Sebatspor and Rizespor had a 2-1 home success against MKE Ankaragücü.
The surprise result of the third round of the Croatian championship came on Friday as last season's runners-up HNK Hajduk Split were defeated 4-1 at home by newly-promoted NK Inker Zaprešic. Ivica Karabogdan struck twice in the first half to stun the hosts, while Marin Lalic and Neno Katulic scored either side of Petar Krpan's goal for Hajduk after the interval.
The first weekend of the Romanian season saw more misery for champions AFC Rapid Bucuresti. Beaten by RSC Anderlecht in the Champions League second qualifying round, they drew 1-1 at FC Oradea on Saturday while title rivals FC Steaua Bucuresti took the initiative with a 4-0 victory against FC Brasov.
Late goal for Flora
There was tension in Estonia too. League leaders FC Flora looked set for a stalemate at home against third-placed FC Levadia Maardu - until Norwegian Tor Henning Hamre scored his 18th goal of the season from the penalty spot to give his side all three points ten minutes from time. Second-placed FC TVMK Tallinn had a more dramatic escape, overturning a 3-1, half-time deficit at home against JK Trans Narva to win 4-3.
The first weekend of Scottish league action saw a 4-0 home victory for champions Rangers FC against Kilmarnock FC, but there was no joy for last season's UEFA Cup finalists Celtic FC as they were held to a goalless draw at Dunfermline Athletic FC.
Finally, the Belgian season got off to a good start for champions Club Brugge KV as they won 1-0 at home against 2001/02 champions KRC Genk. But the side that are expected to provide their strongest challenge, RSC Anderlecht, also began brightly with a 3-1 home success against R. Antwerp FC which leaves them top of the table.
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