Chelsea, Liverpool stung at home, City continue perfect start
By Alan Clark
Reigning champions Chelsea were defeated at home by an impressive Crystal Palace side as Jose Mourinho’s men continue to stutter in their title defense.
Bakary Sako gave the visitors the lead midway through the second half, and Falcao’s first goal for the Blues to equalize gave them hope of getting themselves back in the game.
However, Joel Ward’s headed effort just two minutes later restored the lead for Alan Pardew’s side and they held out for the shock victory, leaving Chelsea in 13th place after four games. The international break this weekend will give them an opportunity to regroup before visiting Everton.
West Ham provided the second shock of Saturday’s Premier League fixture card as goals from Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and a last-minute strike from Diafra Sakho ensured a famous 3-0 win at Anfield against Liverpool.
Manchester City continue to lead the pack with their 100 percent record intact as they seen off Watford 2-0. After a frustrating opening period, big-money summer signing Raheem Sterling bagged his first goal for the Sky Blues just after half-time, before Fernandinho increased their advantage. Manuel Pellegrini will be delighted with his team’s start as they sit atop the table with a three-point advantage over second place.
Manchester United fell to yet another loss to Swansea City as the Welsh club came back from Juan Mata’s opener to win 2-1, goals from Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis continuing their eye-catching start to the campaign under boss Garry Monk.
Spain – Real off the mark, Barca get by, Atletico win comfortably
Rafael Benitez had the perfect home debut as manger of Real Madrid as his side thumped Real Betis 5-0 to get their first three points of the La Liga campaign.
Wales star Gareth Bale bagged himself a brace, as did Colombia’s James Rodriguez with a stunning free-kick and overhead kick, with Karim Benzema’s header the other goalscorer in a delightfully simple evening for Real.
Barcelona made it two wins from two as they narrowly defeated Malaga at the Nou Camp. The away side had defended staunchly for 73 minutes but Barca found an unlikely hero in the form of defender Thomas Vermaelen who popped up with the solitary goal to break Malaga’s resistance.
Atletico Madrid recorded an impressive 3-0 away triumph over Sevilla to also make it two wins in two as they seek to challenge Barca and Real once more.
Goals from Koke, Gabi and new addition Jackson Martinez gave them the three points as they laid down a significant marker to the rest of the league.
Germany – Bayern and Dortmund march on with perfect starts
Defending champions Bayern Munich won their third league match on the spin as they comfortably dispatched of Bayer Leverkusen 3-0, with Borussia Dortmund doing the same as they seen off Hertha Berlin 3-1.
Two penalties, one from Thomas Muller and another from Arjen Robben as well as a second from Muller gave them the victory as they continue to look down on the rest of the Bundesliga from number one spot.
Dortmund went level with them on points though as Thomas Tuchel and co look to seriously challenge then for the championship crown. Mats Hummels, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adrian Ramos scored their goals at the Westfalenstadion as they equaled their best ever start to the season with eight competitive wins in all competitions.
Italy – Roma inflict second loss in a row for Juve, Milan sides pick up wins
Last year’s Serie A winners Juventus remain winless on zero points after two games as the impressive Roma were 2-1 victors in the big clash of the Italian card at the weekend.
After a tense first 45 minutes, Miralem Pjanic found the back of the net with a superb set-piece for the hosts before Patrice Evra was given his marching orders for Juve, which preceded Edin Djeko heading Roma into dreamland.
Paulo Dybala pulled one back but it wasn’t enough for Juve to avoid the defeat, which ensured they have lost their opening two games in Serie A for the first time in their history.
Both Milan clubs picked up victories as well, Inter ensuring a 100 percent start with a 2-1 scoreline away to new boys Carpi – and Milan getting their first win in the division, 2-1 against Empoli. The Milan derby is the fixture of the weekend when domestic soccer returns the weekend after the upcoming international break.
Top-flight club competitions across Europe go on hiatus for this week as qualifiers for Euro 2016 continue. Check socceramerica.com/article/65214/soccer-on-tv.html for complete television listings and times.