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Pretenders march on as rivals flounder

While Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC continue to breeze along nicely, several European contenders approach Matchday 2 with much to ponder after weekend woe.

Kaká celebrates scoring Madrid's third in their 3-0 defeat of Tenerife
Kaká celebrates scoring Madrid's third in their 3-0 defeat of Tenerife ©Getty Images

While Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC continue to cruise along nicely at home, several of their UEFA Champions League rivals approach Matchday 2 with much to ponder after weekend setbacks.

Victory for the top two in the Spanish Liga made it five wins from as many matches at the start of the season, Madrid defeating CD Tenerife 3-0 and Zlatan Ibrahimović striking in Barça's 2-0 success at Málaga CF to become the first new signing to score in the club's opening five league games. United's defeat of Stoke City FC allowed them to leapfrog a Chelsea FC side – beaten 3-1 by Wigan Athletic FC – who suffered their first loss under Carlo Ancelotti and, in the process, surrendered their 100 per cent record in the Premier League.

Atlético angst
Another team defeated for the first time this term were FC Internazionale Milano, 1-0 losers at Serie A pacesetters UC Sampdoria, while their city rivals AC Milan drew a blank for the fourth time in five league fixtures. Rangers FC are also struggling in front of goal, drawing 0-0 for the third consecutive league game, while elsewhere Club Atlético Madrid's winless start to the campaign continued with a draw at Valencia CF. In Switzerland, FC Zürich trail leaders BSC Young Boys by 13 points following a second successive Super League reverse.

Group A
Juventus 1-1 Bologna FC
(Trezeguet 24; Adailton 90)
Ciro Ferrara: "We gave too many chances to Bologna today, maybe I fielded too many players who were returning from injuries all at the same time. We will try to improve in defence but mostly we have to improve when we are in possession. We have to be more careful and not lose the ball too easily, especially when we are ahead. Now we have another tough game in the week, we need points after starting with a home draw against Bordeaux."
FC Girondins de Bordeaux 1-0 Stade Rennais FC
(Wendel 23)
Laurent Blanc: "We started well and handled the ball well. The Champions League game against Maccabi was somewhere in our minds but we managed to do well. It's a good improvement as a team. I also notice that we have not conceded for five games [in the league] now and the encouraging thing is that we can defend even better."
Maccabi Haifa FC
No game
Hamburger SV 1-0 FC Bayern München
(Petrić 72)
Louis van Gaal: "We contributed to a good match but did not take our opportunities. This was the problem and nothing else. This was a top match. It is clear that that team which scores will win. We didn't and therefore we lost."


Group B
VfL Wolfsburg 4-2Hannover 96
(Misimović 8, Gentner 45, Hasebe 48, Džeko 62; Balitsch 28, Madlung 50og)
Armin Veh: "Up front we were good, we had a lot of chances, but at the back things are not well. It would be good if for once we didn't concede. I substituted Grafite because I wanted to have a little bit more stability while leading 4-2."
FC Zenit St. Petersburg2-0 PFC CSKA Moskva 
(Kežman 45pen, Bystrov 87)
Juande Ramos: "Zenit were deserved winners. We played well in the first half but the goal we conceded from the penalty spot broke us. After the break we started to attack in numbers and were eventually caught on the break."
Beşiktaş JK
No game
Stoke City FC 0-2 Manchester United FC
(Berbatov 62, O'Shea 77)
Sir Alex Ferguson: "There is a long way to go but it has been a good day for us. Ryan Giggs is important and he made the goals. I felt his intelligence would give them a bit of bother on that side of the pitch. Nani did pretty well but Ryan gives you something else. He has the intelligence to take up good positions. For the first goal he went on a lovely run behind their defence and the second was an excellent free-kick."


Group C
FC Zürich 1-2 Neuchâtel Xamax FC
(Vonlanthen 58; Niasse 8, Aide Brown 64)
Bernard Challandes: "I could speak for hours about the mistakes we made, particularly in defence. All in all it was a bad weekend for us with the injury to Eric Hassli and the loss today. It's a mental problem. Perhaps the match against Milan will do us good because it's a game we aren't expected to win – unlike all our league matches."
Real Madrid CF 3-0 CD Tenerife
(Benzema 47 58, Kaká 77)
Manuel Pellegrini: "We played very badly in the first half but the substitutions we made clearly changed that. It's obvious that [the introduction of] Kaká changed the face of the team but with a Champions League game coming up we were thinking about not using him today. The team is still forming in many aspects but we're improving some things."
Valenciennes FC 3-2 Olympique de Marseille
(Biševac 21, Ducourtioux 29, Schmitz 84; Morientes 13, Niang 22)
Didier Deschamps: "Far, far too many moves broke down, we made mistakes in the final third and were not rigorous enough defensively despite leading twice. We left too much space and did not work hard enough against a team who put heart into their work and were determined. We cannot say that Valenciennes stole the points."
AC Milan 0-0 AS Bari
Leonardo: "Bari covered the whole pitch and they were very fast and accurate, especially on the flanks. Our tempo was too slow in the first half, so I tried to change tactics after the break to make our movements on the field more incisive. I'm a little bit worried, as in the last games we didn't manage to serve good balls to our forwards and in such conditions scoring becomes a hard task.


Group D
Wiga Athletic FC 3-1 Chelsea FC
(Bramble 16, Rodallega 53pen, Scharner 90; Drogba 47)
Carlo Ancelotti: "It was a bad display. I don't know why we didn't play well but these things can happen after many wins. Wigan played better than us. They were well organised and played well. This was the right result. We played well in the first ten minutes but when we lost the first goal it became more complicated."
FC Porto 1-0 Sporting Clube de Portugal
(Falcao 2)
Jesualdo Ferreira: "We were very strong in the first 20 minutes. The second half was well balanced until [Anderson] Polga was sent off. Sporting are a team that can bother us and create danger. That happened today but when we had to be intelligent and consistent we were able to secure possession and control the game."
Valencia CF 2-2 Club Atlético de Madrid 
(Pablo 25, Villa 27; Agüero 7, Maxi Rodríguez 90)
Abel Resino: "Football seems to be punishing us harshly these days but we have to focus on the effort the team is putting in. Last year in games like this one we were scoring five goals but now we just can't seem to do the same. We had a great pre-season and all of a sudden there has been something of a commotion and there are a lot of nerves on show. If we continue to work like we did today we're going to get ourselves out of this bad run."
APOEL FC 3-0 Doxa Katokopia FC
(Sikora 12 52, Charalambides 39pen)
Ivan Jovanović: "My team won the game fair and it is good to return to winning ways in the league. In Europe we are looking strong and I hope that we can reproduce the same kind of form in the next game. Some of my players are nursing injuries and I hope that we can overcome some of those problems ahead of the game against Chelsea."


Group E
Liverpool FC 6-1 Hull City FC
(Torres 12 28 47, Gerrard 61, Babel 88 90; Geovanni 15)
Rafael Benítez: "Six goals is fantastic but it could have been even better because we had some chances. That's another positive − the mentality of the team going forward, winning the game and still trying to score more. [Torres] can do even better; in the last three games he's been really good. He's improving and his mentality, workrate and movements show his ability."
Kaposvári Rákóczi FC 4-4 Debreceni VSC
(Bank 17, Nikolić 61, Zahorecz 64, Reszli 86; Czvitkovics 47 54, Szakály 70, Rezes 81)
András Herczeg: "We did not start the game well but we came back twice and could even have won. [Goalkeeper Vukašin] Poleksić has taken penalties before and as [Péter] Czvitkovics did not want to take it and [Gergely] Rudolf was not on the field, he was the one to take it this time. I am sorry he hit the post."
Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 Toulouse FC
(Tafer 52, Gomis 71; Sissoko 9)
Claude Puel: "Since the beginning of the season every player who has come in has done good things – it shows that we have a good spirit. The first half was not bad but the second was clearly good and it was logical that we levelled and then took the lead."
AS Livorno Calcio 0-1 ACF Fiorentina
(Jovetić 76pen)
Cesare Prandelli: "Adrian [Mutu] played very well for an hour. We are playing every three days and I want fresh legs. Substitutes [Marco] Marchionni and Stevan Jovetić gave us an extra gear. Jovetić is very young but he has a great career ahead of him. In the Champions League I want to see enthusiasm and players eager to surprise. This is the only way for us to close the gap on the stronger teams."


Group F
UC Sampdoria1-0 FC Internazionale Milano
(Pazzini 72)
José Mourinho: "What I liked the most today? I know what I did not like − the result. We lost three important points. [Davide] Santon made a mistake when Samp scored but a defender can make mistakes sometimes, it's normal. However, a single player is never responsible for a defeat. [Wesley] Sneijder and [Thiago] Motta were not available so we were missing some creativity between the midfield and the attack."
Málaga CF 0-2 FC Barcelona
(Ibrahimović 39, Piqué 59)
Josep Guardiola: "I'm comforted by the spirit our team is showing; it's that spirit that brings victories. The game was quite aggressive and one in which Málaga started much stronger than us. From about the 15th minute we began to take control. It was a game that demanded a lot of effort on our part but in the end it paid off for us."
FC Dynamo Kyiv 2-0FC Zorya Luhansk
(Milevskiy 22pen, Ghioane 71)
Valeri Gazzaev: "I am satisfied with my players. They played very well and created lots of opportunities. Now we don't feel scared before the visit to FC Barcelona. They are the best club in the world, but we'll try to show all our qualities."
FC Rubin Kazan 1-2 FC Amkar Perm
(Domínguez 7; Sikimić 19, Peev 65)
Kurban Berdyev: "We probably didn't take this match seriously. At the same time, our opponents were organised and defended well."


Group G
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 VfB Stuttgart
(Schieber 17 31, Hitzlsperger 54)
Markus Babbel: "This was a class effort. My team were very disciplined and always dangerous going forward. This time we took our chances. Julian Schieber is a great talent, but you should not compare him with Mario Gómez."
Rangers FC 0-0Aberdeen FC
Walter Smith: "There's a little bit of frustration there. We started the game well and had a lot of pressure throughout. Give credit to Aberdeen, they defended very well throughout that period of time and for us it was very similar to our last few games. We haven't really shown the required sharpness in the last third of the pitch to get the goals that our pressure and play warranted."
Athletic Club Bilbao 0-4 Sevilla FC
(Renato 5, Negredo 21, Kanouté 45, Navas 75)
Manuel Jiménez: "Today we worked for this victory as Athletic Club never gave up trying to force us back towards our own goal. We have a good attitude, we want to do things well. I don't really want to single anyone out today but I must say that Renato was superb. Not all games are the same and against Rangers we'll face a different kind of battle."
FC Unirea Urziceni 4-1 FC Petrolul Ploiesti
(Rusescu 13, Varga 59, Galamaz 64, Dănălache 90; Djokić 69)
Dan Petrescu: "I am very satisfied. After the defeat by Dinamo [Bucureşti] last Sunday I did not sleep well, but then came two victories so that I might say that we are back. Still, there was also a negative point – after we led 3-0 we relaxed. A draw against Stuttgart would be a very good result, while a victory would be fantastic."


Group H
Olympiacos FC 1-0 Panionios GSS
(Zairi 18)
Zico: "We played great in the first half and created many opportunities. We should have finished off the match sooner but we won and that's the most important thing. We are confident ahead of the match against Arsenal. However, it's a tough encounter and, furthermore, with matches every three days, our players are becoming fatigued."
FC Utrecht 1-0 AZ Alkmaar
(Keller 14)
Ronald Koeman: "We had a number of forced changes to the team. The changes did not work out well; we could not find the free player and lost possession a lot. We created too few chances, certainly taking into account that we ended the match with four attackers. In the end we deserved to lose and the congratulations go to Utrecht."
KV Kortrijk0-2 R. Standard de Liège
(Dalmat 34, Angeli 90)
Milan Jovanović, Standard striker: "It was tough, but playing away always is. I thought we played pretty well. Defensively we were solid and at the end of the match we were using the counter very cleverly. Will we have to do better against AZ? I will be happy if we can repeat our performance from this match."
Fulham FC 0-1 Arsenal FC
(Van Persie 52)
Arsène Wenger: "Today I am very happy. We compensated for a lack of fluidity and cohesion with attitude, spirit and desire and, of course, it was a good display by [Vito] Mannone. He has shown he has quality and composure and has made good decisions but you do not reject the other goalkeepers. It was vital for us to come back and with Chelsea losing today the Premier League became more compact again and that is interesting. We are in a strong position."