By JUSTIN FERGUSON
For the first time since the turn of the new millennium, Atletico Madrid can claim a winning streak over powerhouse rival Real Madrid.
Four-and-a-half months after their thrilling extra-time victory over Real in the Copa del Rey Final, Atletico returned to the Bernabeu and handed their bitter rivals a 1-0 defeat to continue their perfect start to the La Liga campaign. Atletico now have back-to-back derby wins for the first time since 1999, which, coincidentally, was the last time Los Colchoneros had won prior to last season’s cup victory.
While Real try to regroup after their first loss of the season, Manchester United are searching for answers after their third English Premier League loss in six matches under new manager David Moyes. The Red Devils lost to West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford for the first time since 1978, a 2-1 home defeat that doomed the club to its worst season start since 1989-90. Wayne Rooney answered Morgan Amalfitano’s spectacular opener with another one of his free kick goals, but United never equalized after Saido Berahino’s 67th-minute winner.
But Manchester United fans were not alone in their suffering this weekend. Rivals Manchester City shockingly fell 3-2 to Aston Villa thanks to Leandro Bacuna and Andreas Weimann’s quickfire double in the second half. The Villans trailed twice in the match, but Karim El Ahamdi and Bacuna paved the way for Weimann to put a heavy touch on American goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s long punt past Joe Hart for the unbelievable 75th-minute winner.
Here is a closer look at all the weekend’s action from the top leagues in Europe:
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was denied of a win over his former club and mentor Saturday when Chelsea’s John Terry scored a 65th-minute header in a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 19th-minute goal put Spurs ahead in a first half they completely controlled, but the visiting Blues roared back in an intense second half. Chelsea striker Fernando Torres was sent off for two controversial yellow card fouls on Jan Vertonghen in a physical match that featured eight bookings.
Luis Suarez’s return to EPL action was a triumphant one as he netted a brace in Liverpool’s 3-1 win against Sunderland. His first goal, a close tap-in, came just eight minutes after attack partner Daniel Sturridge’s 28th-minute opener. Emmanuele Giaccherini pulled one back for the winless Black Cats on a rebound shortly after halftime, but Suarez scored off a Sturridge cross in the 89th-minute to ensure all three road points for the second-place Reds.
Here are the results from this weekend’s English Premier League action:
Tottenham Hotspur 1, Chelsea 1
Aston Villa 3, Manchester City 2
Cardiff City 2, Fulham 1
Hull City 1, West Ham United 0
West Bromwich Albion 2, Manchester United 1
Southampton 2, Crystal Palace 0
Arsenal 2, Swansea City 1
Norwich City 1, Stoke City 0
Liverpool 3, Sunderland 1
Barcelona superstar forward Lionel Messi had a roller coaster ride of a weekend. After appearing in court Friday on charges of tax fraud, Messi scored just 21 minutes into Barcelona’s 2-0 road win against Almeria. However, the Argentinian left the match two minutes after the opener with a thigh strain, an injury that will keep him out for two to three weeks. The defending Spanish champions, who are now out to their best start in club history, now travel to Celtic for a rematch of last season’s shocking loss in the Champions League group stages.
After being controversially denied of points against Real Madrid earlier in the week, newly promoted side Elche notched their first top-flight win in 24 years on Sunday. Elche defeated Celta Vigo 1-0 on a Javier Moreno Marquez shot that struck the inside of the post and found its way across the line. Marquez’s 62nd-minute goal doomed Celta Vigo to their third loss in four matches and 14th place in the La Liga table.
Here are the results from this weekend’s La Liga action:
Real Valladolid 2, Malaga 2
Valencia 1, Rayo Vallecano 0
Barcelona 2, Almeria 0
Real Sociedad 1, Sevilla 1
Atletico Madrid 1, Real Madrid 0
Levante 1, Osasuna 0
Elche 1, Celta Vigo 0
Getafe 2, Espanyol 0
Real Betis 1, Villarreal 0
Following a Champions League-opening loss to Napoli and a frustrating draw with Nurnberg, Borussia Dortmund needed a big home win to strengthen their status as the first-place team in the Bundesliga. Dortmund did just that on Saturday, crushing Freiburg by a score of 5-0 at Signal Iduna Park. Marco Reus notched a first-half brace before Robert Lewandowski’s two-goal second half, and Jakub Blaszczykowski completed the rout with a 79th-minute goal of his own.
Bayern Munich maintained their second-place position with a home win over Wolfsburg this weekend, but the defending champions did not look impressive ahead of this week’s trip to face Manchester City. Thomas Muller scored the match’s only goal in the 63rd minute, the German midfielder’s first strike of the Bundesliga campaign. Although Bayern held 71 percent of the match’s possession, Wolfsburg came dangerously close to scoring several times, prompting Bayern manager Pep Guardiola to send on an extra defender in the final minutes.
Here are the results from this weekend’s Bundesliga action:
Augsburg 2, Borussia Monchengladbach 2
Bayer Leverkusen 2, Hannover 0
Bayern Munich 1, Wolfsburg 0
Borussia Dortmund 5, Freiburg 0
Hertha Berlin 3, Mainz 1
Hoffenheim 3, Schalke 3
Eintracht Frankfurt 2, Hamburg 2
Werder Bremen 3, Nurnberg 3
Stuttgart 4, Eintracht Braunschweig 0
First-place AS Roma continued their record-breaking start to their Serie A season with a 5-0 win against Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico. Roma went on the offensive from the opening whistle, grabbing a huge 3-0 lead in the first half-hour of the match. Former Arsenal winger Gervinho, now back under the direction of former Lille manager Rudi Garcia, scored twice in the dominant performance from the capital club.
Juventus ground out another narrow win in league play this weekend, a 1-0 victory over hungry city rivals Torino. Paul Pogba was the hero for the defending Italian champions, heading in a goal after Carlos Tevez’s original effort bounced off the bar in the 54th minute. Torino, who have not defeated their crosstown rivals since 1995, did a good job of maintaining possession in this Derby della Mole match, but none of their six shots were on Gianluigi Buffon’s goal.
Here are the results from this weekend’s Serie A action:
Napoli 2, Genoa 0
AC Milan 1, Sampdoria 0
Juventus 1, Torino 0
Atalanta 2, Udinese 0
Cagliari 1, Inter Milan 1
Catania 2, Chievo Verona 0
Hellas Verona 2, Livorno 1
Sassuolo 2, Lazio 2
AS Roma 5, Bologna 0
Paris Saint-Germain drew level in points with new rivals AS Monaco in Saturday’s 2-0 victory against Toulouse. Two of PSG’s biggest summer signings led the way for the defending champions, who took a while to get going against their midtable opponents. Young defender Marquinhos scored his first Ligue 1 goal off a set piece minutes before the halftime whistle, and star attacker Edinson Cavani came off the bench to seal the win with a 79th-minute penalty conversion.
For the first time all season, AS Monaco got a league goal from someone other than Radamel Falcao or Emmanuel Riviere—but the league leaders were still forced to share points with Stade de Reims. The hosts went ahead in the fourth minute on a header from Antoine Devaux, but summer signing Joao Moutinho equalized nine minutes later on a free kick. Stade de Reims then traded punches with the league leaders throughout the rest of the match, which ended with defender Atila Turan’s sending off for a foul on Monaco’s James Rodriguez.
Here are the results from this weekend’s Ligue 1 action:
Marseille 2, Lorient 0
Paris Saint-Germain 2, Toulouse 0
Evian Thonon Gaillard 1, Bordeaux 1
Lyon 0, Lille 0
Nice 1, Guingamp 0
Sochaux 2, Valenciennes 0
Saint Etienne 2, Bastia 2
Nantes 3, Stade Rennes 1
Ajaccio 1, Montpellier 1
Stade de Reims 1, AS Monaco 1
What do you think of this weekend’s European league action? Impressed with Atletico’s performance so far this season? Shocked at both Manchester clubs losing on the same day? How do you think Messi’s injury will affect Barcelona’s play for the next few weeks?
Share your thoughts below.