European football round-up
Shocking top four
E P L : As the dust settles on the opening weekend of the 2012-2013 Premier League Season it is a shocking scene at the top of the table. Fulham and Swansea are atop the pack after both teams earned 5-0 wins over Norwich City and Queen’s Park Rangers respectively.
New Swansea signing Michu netted twice for new manager Michael Laudrup, while Fulham’s new signing Mladen Petric also scored a brace. West Brom are third in the table after they delivered a blow to the start of the Brendan Rodgers revolution at Anfield by dispatching a mediocre Liverpool side 3-0.
Their Merseyside fellows, Everton did much better, however, eking out a 1-0 win against Manchester United in an exhilarating and balanced game yesterday.
Chelsea are fourth as they eased past Wigan 2-0 on the back of a silky first-half performance from highly rated new signing Eden Hazard. Meanwhile, the defending Premier League champions had their hands full with a gritty performance from new boys Southampton.
The ‘noisy neighbours’ turned champions, lost Sergio Aguero within the first 10 minutes and went behind 2-1 before Edin Dzeko pulled City level and Samir Nasri got the winner to make it 3-2 in 80th minute.
Despite a good performance from the freshly signed Spaniard Santi Cazorla, Arsenal couldn’t manage anything more than a 0-0 draw against Sunderland. Sunderland’s Tyneside rivals Newcastle, however, overcame a Tottenham side that created more chances 2-1. Newly promoted West Ham beat Aston Villa 1-0 while Reading and Stoke drew 1-1. Chelsea play again tomorrow at 1:45 when they host Reading.
Catalans start strong
La Liga: Barcelona began their campaign under Tito Villanova by thrashing Real Sociedad 5-1 with Leo Messi scoring a brace. Messi’s brace tipped the delicately balanced 1-1 scoreline out of Sociedad’s reach before Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa completed the romp.
Real Madrid were slightly lacking however as they were held to 1-1 draw against Valencia with stars like Cristiano Ronaldo failing to shine. Gonzalo Higuain look to have set them on their way from early, however, they were pegged back by Valencia’s Jonas late in the first half. Neighbours Atletico Madrid were also held to a 1-1 draw by Levante while Malaga beat newly promoted Celta de Vigo 1-0.
It was an eight-goal affair at Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis as Jorge Molina scored a brace to give Betis the 5-3 win despite for Bilbao’s Mikel San Jose Dominguez also notching a brace.
Meanwhile, both Sevilla and Mallorca claimed 2-1 victories over Getafe and Espanyol respectively. Tomer Hemed scored a brace for Mallorca.