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European soccer roundup - Barcelona, Real, Man United, Chelsea win

Champions League favourites Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea all warmed up for their opening matches in this season`s competition with domestic victories over the weekend.

Milan: Champions League favourites Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea all warmed up for their opening matches in this season`s competition with domestic victories over the weekend.


Champions Barcelona and Real Madrid made it two La Liga wins out of two and were joined at the top of the standings on six points by Valencia.

Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to seal Real`s 3-0 victory at Espanyol with a typical run and finish in added time after Brazilian playmaker Kaka had set up Esteban Granero and Guti
Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one and set up Lionel Messi for a rare header in Barca`s 2-0 win at Getafe, Sevilla thumped Real Zaragoza 4-1 and Atletico Madrid were held 1-1 at home by 10-man Racing Santander.

David Villa scored twice and David Silva and Juan Mata one each to give Valencia a 4-2 win at Real Valladolid on Sunday.


Manchester City continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 4-2 win over Arsenal, though an exciting game was marred by two controversial incidents.

Emmanuel Adebayor ran the length of the pitch to celebrate his goal and City`s third in front of his former club`s fans and after the match Robin van Persie issued a statement accusing Adebayor of maliciously stamping on him.

Chelsea maintained their perfect start with a 2-1 victory at Stoke City thanks to Florent Malouda`s last-minute winner and champions Manchester United remained three points adrift by coming from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1.

Liverpool`s Yossi Benayoun grabbed a hat-trick in a 4-0 rout of Burnley to put his side fifth, six points behind Chelsea.


Juventus continued their perfect start when Uruguay right back Martin Caceres scored on his Serie A debut and David Trezeguet also netted to give them a 2-0 win at Lazio.

Genoa and their city rivals Sampdoria share the top spot with three wins each after the former thrashed Napoli 4-1 at home and the latter beat Atalanta 1-0 away.

Samuel Eto`o wowed the San Siro with a curling effort from outside the area to help champions Inter Milan stay two points behind the leaders with a 2-0 triumph over Parma.

AS Roma took their first points of the season when they came from behind to win 2-1 at Siena in coach Claudio Ranieri`s debut.

After being thrashed 4-0 by Inter before the international break, AC Milan`s stuttering start continued when they were held to a goalless draw at promoted Livorno.


The three French teams involved in next week`s Champions League action won but Girondins Bordeaux, Olympique Lyon and Olympique Marseille failed to impress.

Champions Bordeaux stayed top of the Ligue 1 standings with 13 points from five matches when a Yoan Gouffran goal earned a 1-0 victory over bottom club Grenoble.

Lyon, also on 13 points, laboured to a 1-0 win over Lorient, Brazilian midfielder Michel Bastos scoring in the second half from Sidney Govou`s cross.

Brazilian forward Brandao set up a goal and scored the other as Marseille, one of five unbeaten teams, snatched a 2-1 win at Le Mans.

Paris St Germain lost for the first time this season when they were beaten 2-0 by Monaco on Sunday.


Hamburg SV beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 to stay top and record their best start in the Bundesliga for 46 years. Mladen Petric and Eljero Elia put them 2-0 up before Stuttgart pulled one back through Pavel Pogrebnyak. Ze Roberto scored in stoppage time to put Hamburg on 13 points after five matches.

Bayer Leverkusen fought off a spirited comeback by champions VfL Wolfsburg to win 3-2 after going up 3-0 and stay second on goal difference, with Schalke 04 moving into third place, three points behind, following their 2-1 win at Cologne.

Bayern Munich provided a spectacular second-half performance to crush hosts Borussia Dortmund 5-1 and move up to fifth, a point behind fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt. Dortmund took the lead before Bayern rattled off five goals in a row.


Braga beat Maritimo 2-1 away to retain the top spot in the Premier League on Sunday and second-placed teams Benfica and Porto posted comfortable wins to keep up the pressure.

Maritimo opened the scoring through a Miguel Angelo header but Joao Pereira equalised five minutes before halftime and Meyong sealed victory for Braga with a penalty in the 83rd minute.

Benfica thrashed Belenenses 4-0 away and champions Porto beat Leixoes 4-1 at home.

Braga lead on 12 points with four wins from four games, followed by Benfica and Porto on 10.


AZ Alkmaar were stunned 2-1 at ADO Den Haag, four days before their Champions League debut at Olympiakos Pireaus, to slip to fifth with 12 points.

PSV Eindhoven registered a straightforward 3-0 home victory over Roda JC Kerkrade to move top on goal difference ahead of Feyenoord and Twente Enschede, who were 3-2 winners against Willem II Tilburg and Utrecht respectively.

Martin Jol`s Ajax Amsterdam thrashed NAC Breda 6-0, with Argentine Dario Cvitanich scoring a hat-trick, to stay in touch with the top of the table.


Neither Rangers nor Celtic could maintain their winning starts and the former are top on goal difference. Champions Rangers drew 0-0 at Motherwell and Celtic pulled a goal back to draw 1-1 at home to Dundee United.


Panathinaikos warmed up for Thursday`s Europa League match with Galatasaray by maintaining their perfect Greek Super League start with a 1-0 win at Panthrakikos, who had Yiannis Kanotidis sent off in the 55th minute for a second yellow.

Henk Ten Cate`s team clinched the three points courtesy of Sebastian Leto`s 79th-minute strike. They have nine points from three matches and top the table ahead of Aris, who secured a 1-0 home win over PAS Giannena thanks to Mehdi Nafti`s early strike.

Olympiakos Piraeus coach Temuri Ketsbaia came in for heavy criticism after the champions showed worrying form ahead of their Champions League opener against AZ Alkmaar in a goalless draw with promoted AO Kavala.


Rubin Kazan edged closer to their second successive league title after a 5-1 home rout of Saturn Ramenskoye sent them six points clear at the top with nine matches remaining.

Aleksandr Bukharov and Aleksandr Ryazantsev scored two goals each for Rubin, who stole a march on second-placed Spartak Moscow after they were held to a 1-1 draw at city rivals Dynamo.

Third-placed CSKA Moscow, a further four points adrift, gave their new coach Juande Ramos a winning start after beating Krylya Sovietov Samara 3-0 at home.


Champions Wisla Krakow stretched their perfect start to six games with Patryk Malecki scoring on the hour to hand them a 1-0 win at Lechia Gdansk.

Polonia Bytom moved up to second following a 4-0 home drubbing of Piast Gliwice thanks to two goals apiece from Grzegorz Podstawek and Jacek Trzeciak.

Odra Wodzislaw defender Marcin Kokoszka will be out until the end of the year after suffering a serious leg break in Odra Wodzislaw`s 2-0 home defeat by Korona Kielce.


Red Star Belgrade went top on goal difference after two goals from Dejan Lekic and a third by strike partner Marko Blazic gave them a 3-0 home win against newcomers Metalac Gornji Milanovac.

Second-placed Vojvodina Novi Sad and OFK Belgrade in third, who are level with Red Star on 10 points from four games, were held to 1-1 home draws by Smederevo and Napredak Krusevac respectively.

Champions Partizan Belgrade are two points off the pace after scraping a 1-1 draw at second-bottom neighbours Cukaricki.


Surprise packages FC Brasov stayed top with 14 points from six games after a Robert Ilyes penalty gave them a 1-0 home victory against Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt.

Champions Unirea Urziceni, a point behind Brasov in second, kept up the pressure with a 1-0 home success against promoted Unirea Alba Iulia.

Bureau Report

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