It was another weekend of football in the top five leagues in Europe, as most the big teams recorded wins to either kickoff their respective league seasons, or consolidate on their early wins.
Teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Bayern Munchen began their seasons on a winning note, while Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain built on their previous win(s).
So, let’s get to it as we kickoff this week’s round up of matches played in the five major leagues with a trip to Germany, home of the Bundesliga.
The league kicked off on Friday, with champions, Bayern Munchen hosting Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena.
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Bayern got off to a good start, recording a 3-1 win over Bayer, courtesy of goals by two new arrivals, Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso, before Robert Lewandowski scored from the spot to make it 3-0.
Lewandowski’s goal came off the help of something quite historic, as the penalty from which he converted was given by the Video Assistant Referee, VAR, which was making its debut in the Bundesliga.
Admir Mehmedi pulled one back for Bayer, but despite numerous chances to add to that one goal, it was Bayern who held on as their quest for a sixth successive league title got off on a positive note.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Bayern’s biggest rivals, Borussia Dortmund also got off to a flyer, after they recorded a 0-3 away win at the Volkswagen Arena against Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Goals from youngster, Christian Pulisic, Marc Bartra, and star striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang handed the Yellow and Blacks their first three points of the NEA campaign.
Other teams to record wins in the opening fixtures include; last season’s fourth placed side, Hoffenhiem, who secured a 1-0 win against Werder Bremen at the Rhein-Neckar Arena thanks to a Andrej Kramaric goal.
Hertha Berlin were also 2-0 to the good against VfB Stuttgart, while Schalke 04 flogged RB Leipzig, last season’s runners up, 2-0 at the Veltins-Arena.
Bayern 3-1 Bayer
Hamburger 1-0 Augsburg
Hoffenhiem 1-0 Bremen
Mainz 05 0-1 Hannover 96
Wolfsburg 0-3 BVB
Hertha 2-0 VfB Stuttgart
Freiburg0-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0 FC Cologne
Taking a trip to Spain, in the La Liga, which also saw the opening fixtures of the 2017/2018 season kickoff, we look at how the champions, Real Madrid performed.
A Cristiano Ronaldo-less Madrid side whipped Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 away, with the goals coming from Gareth Bale, Casemiro and midfield maestro, Toni Kroos.
But then, Madrid finished the encounter with ten men, following wthe dismissal of captain, Sergio Ramos at the stroke of the 90.
At the Nou Camp, Barcelona shook off transfer issues, as an owngoal from Alin Tosca and a Sergi Roberto goal earned them a 2-0 win over Real Betis.
It was the first league match without Neymar, who has since departed for France in a world record fee of €222million to join PSG. Barca were also without the injured Luis Suarez, who is sidelined for up to 4 weeks.
Atletico Madrid started their campaign with a hard-fought 2-2 draw at the home of new comers, Girona, Estadio Municipal de Montilivi.
With the home side already leading 2-0 at the break, courtesy of a Cristhian Stuani brace, Atletico were down to ten men minutes after the break, as forward, Antoine Griezmann received his marching orders.
The Frenchman had already been booked for diving, but was subsequently shown a quick second yellow card for dissent, as he appeared to have said something to the referee.
However, that didn’t stop the away side from responding, as they pulled one back with twelve minutes left on the clock thanks to Angel Correa, before they completed the comeback with minutes later, after defender, José Gimenez powered home a Koke free kick to earn his side an opening day point.
In other league games played across the country, a late penalty helped Real Sociedad grab all three points at Celta Vigo, while Athletic Bilbao were held at home by Getafe to as goalless draw.
La Liga Results:
Deportivo 0-3 Real Madrid
Ath. Bilbao 2-0 Betis
Sevilla 1-1 Espanyol
Girona 2-2 Atletico
Celta 2-3 Sociedad
Valencia 1-0 Las Palmas
Leganes 1-0 Alaves
In the English Premier League, early pace setters, Manchester United continued from where they stopped in the opening weekend, as they swept aside Swansea City 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium.
Eric Bailly scored his first goal for United when he stabbed home just before the break, after Paul Pogba’s header was finger tipped to the bar by Fabianski, with the Ivorian reacting the quickest to hand the Red Devils a 1-0 lead.
Further goals came from Romelu Lukaku, substitute, Anthony Martial and Pogba, with José Mourinho men proving too hot for their host as they continued their brilliant start to the season.
Huddersfield are looking to be the surprise package this season, after the picked up their second win of the season courtesy of a 1-0 win over Rafa Benitez and his Newcastle United that sees them sit second on the log on six points, same as United, but with a superior goal advantage.
Champions, Chelsea were made to work for their first of the season, after a Marcos Alonso brace saw them beat city rivals, Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley.
The Antonio Conte side, who were without some key players, went ahead in the 24th minute, after Alonso curled in an absolute stunner of a free kick from 25yards out to give them a 1-0 first half lead.
Spurs fought back in the second to equalize, though it came from an owngoal, as substitute, Michy Batshuayi’s first contribution in the match was to turn into his own net a Christian Eriksen free kick to draw the home side level.
However, Hugo Lloris made sure the defending champions left Wembley with their first three points of the season, after making a mess of an Alonso shot, as Chelsea snatched victory late on.
At the Bet365 stadium, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal were stunned as a Jess Rodriguez debut goal for Stoke City condemned them to their first defeat of the season.
Swansea 0-4 Man Utd
Bournemouth 0-1 Watford
Burnley 0-1 WBA
Leicester 2-0 Brighton
Liverpool 1-0 Palace
Soton 3-2 West Ham
Stoke 1-0 Arsenal
Huddersfield 1-0 Newcastle
Spurs 1-2 Chelsea
In the Italian Serie A, champions Juventus started the new campaign with a 3-0 thrashing of Cagliari in Turin, with the goals coming from Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, while goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon saved a penalty, in the first decision awarded by debutant, the Video Assistant Referee, VAR.
Napoli, AC Milan and Inter all kicked their campaigns on a winning note, scoring three goals apiece, though only Napoli conceded a goal.
Serie A Results:
Juventus 3-0 Cagliari
Verona 1- Napoli
Bologna 1-1 Torino
Crotone 0-3 AC Milan
Inter 3-0 Fiorentina
Lazio 0-0 SPAL 2013
Sampdoria 2-1 Benevento
Sassuolo 0-0 Genoa
Udinese 1-2 Chievo Verona
We conclude this week’s Euro Round up with a trip to the Ligue 1 in France, where Neymar started and ended the scoring for PSG as they ran over Toulouse.
After their manager claimed they’d park the bus in the capital, Toulouse were thrashed by a Neymar led PSG side despite taking the lead.
With the away side having taken an 18th minute lead, two quick goals, first from Neymar and then, from Adrien Rabiot gave the hosts a 2-1 lead at the break.
Following the restart, the home side were reduced to ten men, as Marco Verratti was sent off. But this didn’t stop PSG from adding a third goal through an Edinson Cavani penalty penalty with fifteen minutes left to play.
It was 3-2 as a Thiago Silva owngoal gave Toulouse hope of leaving Paris with at least a draw.
However, the ten man hosts had other plans, as three further goals in the last eight minutes from Javier Pastore, Layvin Kurzawa and Neymar gave PSG a comfortable 6-2 victory at the end.
Earlier on, defending champions, AS Monaco set a new Ligue 1 record, when their 1-0 defeat of Metz saw them become the first side to win 15 consecutive matches in the league.
Lyon and Bordeaux were involved in a six-goal thriller, which saw both sides share the spoils in a 3-3 draw.
Ligue 1 Results:
Lille 0-2 Caen
Marseille 1-1 Angers
PSG 6-2 Toulouse
Metz 0-1 Monaco
Troyes 0-1 Nantes
St. Etienne 3-0 Amiens
Rennes 2-2 Dijon
Nice 2-0 Guingamp
Montpellier 1-1 Strasbourg
Lyon 3-3 Bordeaux