European and South America round up; Real slip up, Valencia lead in Spain

Levante shocked Real Madrid on Sunday to win 1-0 and leave Valencia top of the table after three games, and not one of the Clasico giants. And they lead from Real Betis, whose 3-2 win over Marcelo Bielsa’s winless Athletic Bilbao, with both sides on maximum points.

But even on a weekend when the two side’s dominance may appear stinted with a cursory glance at the league table, a Lionel Messi inspired (as usual) Barcelona crushed Osasuna 8-0. 8-0 sounds about routine too, for Pep Guardiola’s men.

Elsewhere in La Liga, Atletico Madrid beat Racing Santander 4-0, with a hat trick from Colombian signing Falcao and another goal from Arda Turan. Rayo Vallecano won 1-0 at Getafe for their first win since winning promotion last season, Real Zaragoza beat Espanyol 2-1, and Valencia confirmed their superb start with a 1-0 win at Sporting Gijon who are rooted to the bottom of the league.

There was also a superb win for promoted Granada, who beat Champions League Villarreal 1-0 thanks to a goal from Kalu Uche, and big spending Malaga cruised to a 1-0 win at Real Mallorca. Sevilla beat Real Sociedad by the same score.

In Italy, Inter Milan avoided defeat for the first time this season, but had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Roma. But it was Napoli who take the weekend plaudits after Edinson Cavani struck a hat trick as they came from behind to beat AC Milan 3-1 and cancel out Alberto Aquilani’s opener. The result leaves the Neapolitans on six points and top of the table ahead of Juventus, who continued an impressive start to the campaign with Allesandro Matri striking to give them victory at Siena.

Also on maximum points are Udinese, 2-0 winners against Fiorentina, and Cagliari, who beat Novara 2-1 at home. There was also a surprise win for Genoa at Lazio, 2-1, and the same score saw Parma defeat Chievo at home. Catania beat Cesena 1-0 at home and Lecce cruised to a 2-0 win at Bologna, to leave them rooted to the bottom of the fledgling table. Atalanta beat Palermo 1-0 in the weekend’s other game.

In England, Tottenham achieved the result of the weekend with a crushing 4-0 win over Liverpool at White Hart Lane, as they look to improve on a poor start, but North London rivals Arsenal continued a miserable start to the campaign with a 4-3 defeat against Blackburn, despite taking the lead twice.

At the top, Manchester United went straight to the top of the table with a 3-1 win over Chelsea at home, and Manchester City dropped two points in a 2-2 draw with Fulham to lose their 100% record. Newcastle’s good start continued with a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa, and they are fourth in the table, with Stoke in 5th despite a 4-0 loss to Sunderland. Everton beat Wigan 3-1 and all three promoted sides won too, with QPR cruising 3-0 at Wolves, Swansea beating West Brom 3-0 and Norwich winning 2-1 at Bolton.

In France, Lyon moved top of the table as Bafa Gomis and Michel Bastos helped them to a 2-0 win over Marseille, and the 2010 champions are now bottom of the league after six games with just three points.

Lyon lead from Montpellier, who lost the lead at the top after drawing 2-2 at Brest, and Toulouse, who claimed a 3-2 win over Bordeaux to continue their good start to the season. Last season’s champions Lille could only draw at home to Sochaux, and big spending PSG also had to settle for two points against newly promoted Evian, with Javier Pastore helping them come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

Elsewhere, Lorient beat St. Etienne 3-0, Auxerre were held 1-1 by Caen, Nice beat Ajaccio 3-0 and Valenciennes crushed Dijon 4-0. And Rennes were held by Jean Fernandez’s Nancy, leaving them level with PSG, Lille and Lorient on 11 points.

In Germany, Manuel Neuer returned to his former club and helped Bayern Munich to a 2-0 win at Ralf Ragnicks’ Schalke O4 to leave them top of the table on 15 points from six games. They lead from Werder Bremen, who drew 1-1 at one of last year’s surprise packages, Nuremberg, and this year’s surprise, Borussia Moenchengladbach, who beat Hamburg 1-0 away. Champions Borussia Dortmund fell to another defeat as their poor start continued, with Shinji Kagawa’s goal cancelled out as Hannover scored twice in the dying minutes to win 2-1.

Champions League Bayer Leverkusen were shocked with a 4-1 home defeat to Cologne, whilst Mainz fell to a 3-1 defeat at Kaiserslautern. The two promoted sides last season, Hertha Berlin and Augsburg, drew 2-2, and Hoffenheim beat Wolfsburg 3-1. Stuttgart won the other game this weekend 2-1 at Freiburg.

Elsewhere on the continent, Fenerbahce beat Gaziantepspor 3-1 to keep their 100% start to the new Turkish season despite the match fixing scandal which has hit them hard. In Portugal, Porto are still unbeaten in over a season after a 0-0 draw with Feirense, and joint lead the table with Benfica, who won 4-1 at home to Academica. FC Twente are top in Holland and won 5-2 this weekend against Den Haag, and AZ are second with a 2-1 win at Waalwijk. Champions Ajax drew 2-2 at PSV.

In Russia, Zenit moved clear at the top of the table with an impressive 3-2 win over Rubin Kazan, and CSKA Moscow are without a win in three after being held at Rostov.

In South America, Vasco de Gama now lead the table in Brazil after 24 games, after they crushed Gremio 4-0 this weekend. They lead from Sao Paulo, who beat Ceara 4-0, and their city rivals Corinthians, who lost 3-1 at home to Santos despite Liedson’s opener. Botafogo are also in touch with the leaders despite a 1-1 draw at home to Flamengo.

And in Argentina, Boca Juniors stay top of the league with a 2-1 at Lanus, and the Clausura champions Velez Sarsfield drew 1-1 with Newell’s Old Boys.