Goals aplenty as European football resumes
Published: 20.08.12 / Written by: David Gold
Two of Europeís top leagues got off to a thrilling start this weekend as there were goals galore in La Liga and the Premier League.
Tito Vilanova began his reign as Barcelona coach in style, leading his team to a crushing 5-1 win over Real Sociedad. That gives the Catalans the early advantage in this seasonís title race, after Real Madrid drew 1-1 with Valencia at the Bernabeu. In a league where the top two drop so few points, it is a crucial advantage even after one round of the season.
Athletic Bilbao got off to a disappointing start as they lost 5-3 at home to Real Betis, despite having drawn level after going 3-0 behind. Levante and Atletico Madrid drew 1-1, Malaga won at Celta Vigo, 1-0, whilst Real Mallorca and Sevilla enjoyed 2-1 victories over Espanyol and Getafe respectively.
In the Premier League, there were 5-0 wins for Fulham and Swansea, who thrashed Norwich and QPR respectively. Manchester City began their title defence with a thrilling 3-2 win over Southampton, whilst Newcastle edged out Tottenham 2-1. Chelsea beat Wigan 2-0, whilst there were disappointing starts for Liverpool, who lost 3-0 at West Brom, and Arsenal, held 0-0 at home by Sunderland.
Paris St Germain drew 0-0 at AJ Ajaccio in France as they continue their poor start to the Ligue 1 season. Montpellier are also languishing after two games following a 2-1 defeat at Lorient. Bordeaux beat Rennes 1-0, while Lyon continued their good start with a 4-1 win over Troyes. Marseille beat Sochaux to maintain their own 100 per cent record, while Lille were held 1-1 by Nancy.
In Russia Zenit St Petersburgís 100% record came to an end as they drew 1-1 at Anzhi Makhachkala. Spartak Moscow beat Rubin Kazan 2-1 and Lokomotiv Moscow won 2-0 at Nizhny Novgorod. Terek Grozny continued their good start with a 2-1 win at Dinamo Moscow, whilst CSKA Moscow beat Saransk 3-0.
Porto began their title defence in Portugal with a 0-0 draw away to Gil Vicente, whilst rivals Benfica were also held, 2-2 by Braga. Sporting Lisbon also drew, 0-0 at Vitoria Guimares.
Twente are the only Dutch team with a 100% record after two games after they beat NAC Breda 1-0. Champions Ajax thrashed NEC 6-1, whilst PSV beat Roda JC 5-0. Feyenoord and Herenveen drew 1-1 and AZ beat Heracles 3-1.
In Argentina the local derby between Racing Club and Independiente ended with a 2-0 win for the former. River Plate beat Tigre 3-2 to continue their winning start to life back in the Argentina top flight. Boca Juniors won 3-1 against All Boys, and Estudiantes beat San Lorenzo 1-0. Atletico Rafaela lost 2-0 at Godoy Cruz.
Atletico Mineiro are still three points clear in the Brazilian championship after a thrilling 3-2 victory over Botafogo. That win keeps them three points clear of Fluminense, who won 1-0 at home to Sport Recife.
Flamengo won the Rio de Janeiro derby with a 1-0 win over Vasco de Gama, thanks to a strike from Vagner Love. The other big game in the Brazilian league was between the last two winners of the Copa Libertadores, Santos and Corinthians. The 2011 champions were victorious as they came from behind to win 3-2. Meanwhile, Luiz Felipe Scolariís Palmeiras lost 2-1 at Atletico Goianiense to remain rooted in the relegation dogfight. Luiz Felipe Scolari's problems continued as the former Brazil and Portugal coach's Palmeiras side lost 2-1 at Atletico Goianiense to drop back into the relegation zone.