Group G: RSC Anderlecht, Real Betis Balompié and Liverpool FC were all held to draws, while Chelsea FC maintained their 100 per cent start to the season.
Liverpool FC 0-0 Manchester United FC
Liverpool ended a run of three consecutive home defeats against United on Sunday lunchtime with a goalless draw at Anfield but remain in the bottom half of the Premiership. Liverpool's talismanic captain Steven Gerrard created his side's best chances – a first-half free-kick going just wide, and a header narrowly missing the crossbar in the second – but could not find the target as Liverpool's scoring difficulties continue. They have now registered just one goal in their opening four Premiership matches.
Striker Fernando Morientes remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Harry Kewell is targeting the start of next month to make his return from a lay-off stretching back to last season's UEFA Champions League final. Nevertheless, Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez was upbeat about his side's performance: "You can't win if you don't score but it's better to have clean sheets. It's a good point. We can improve but we are now controlling games and going forward."
Charlton Athletic FC 0-2 Chelsea FC
Chelsea prevailed against the only other Premiership side with a 100 per cent record on Saturday, improving their record to six wins out of six. Hernán Crespo opened the scoring on 55 minutes with a powerful header, and Arjen Robben added a second five minutes later, firing into the top corner.
The champions also broke the record for the longest time without conceding a goal at the start of an English league season, as Charlton were reduced to aiming long shots at Petr Cech's goal. Midfield player Michael Essien impressed in his sixth appearance since joining from Olympique Lyonnais, destroying and creating with equal quality.
José Mourinho started Crespo up front in place of the rested Didier Drogba, while William Gallas continued to deputise at left-back in the place of the injured Asier Del Horno (thigh). John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho manned the centre of defence, while €30m summer signing Shaun Wright-Phillips was restricted to a cameo appearance on the wing as substitute.
Chelsea assistant coach Steve Clarke said the players raised their game in the second half: "In the first half it was an even game. We asked the guys to step it up a bit and they did that. In the second half we played higher up the pitch and we scored two quality goals to win the game."
FC Molenbeek Brussels Strombeek 1-1 RSC Anderlecht
Anderlecht were held to a 1-1 draw away to city rivals Brussels. The Champions League contenders were under pressure early but went into a fortuitous lead on the half-hour, when Brussels goalkeeper Patrick Nijs saved Besnik Hasi's free-kick, only for the ball to ricochet off the head of defender Richard Culek and in.
But ten minutes later Brussels came back when Anderlecht goalkeeper Silvio Proto failed to bring a shot under control and fouled Julien Gorius as he pounced on the rebound. Defender Werry Sels converted the penalty for 1-1.
Anderlecht were once again without defender Vincent Kompany, whose bad back also kept him out of the game against Chelsea. A scan in hospital on Friday did not show a serious injury, and he was to have a further examination on Monday. Defender Roland Juhasz (ankle) and Pär Zetterberg (back) also missed the game, the latter being replaced by Walter Baseggio.
Belgium captain Bart Goor could not hide his disappointment at the result: "They were very hard in the tackle and we could not profit from our technical superiority. I am not satisfied, we didn't play the way that Anderlecht should, a lot of bad passes, and we were not able to hold on to the points once we took the lead."
Real Betis Balompié 0-0 Real Zaragoza
Betis remained mid-table in the Primera División after their home meeting with Zaragoza ended goalless. Coach Llorenç Serra Ferrer made several changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Liverpool on Tuesday. Veteran goalkeeper Pedro Contreras replaced Antonio Doblas, while injuries to left-sided players Luis Fernández and Edú meant that Paulo Castellini returned after missing most of last season through injury.
Left winger Xisco Muñoz recovered in time to appear as a second-half substitute for the precocious Israel Bascón, but it was another youngster who almost earned victory, Dani firing an effort just over the crossbar. The 23-year-old striker later limped off with a torn hamstring which could rule him out for four weeks.
According to Serra Ferrer, Dani's presence was soon missed: "We did not have a huge amount of chances, but four or five could have gone in and that would have been enough to win the match. I thought we were OK – our defence was alert and attentive and from there the midfield tried to distribute the ball with intelligence. But it was noticeable that our forwards were growing tired towards the end."