ITALY FINALLY GOT its house in order over the weekend and Serie A kicked off nearly four weeks after most other leagues in Europe had done so.
Champions AC Milan started at home to Lazio on Friday night and found themselves two down after 21 minutes.
Miroslav Klose and Djbril Cisse silenced the San Siro before Zlatan Ibrahamovic and Antonio Cassano drew the home side level before half-time.
The match finished 2-2 and the Rosseneri need to raise their game significantly if they are to make any impression against Barcelona this week.
The season is barely 90 minutes old yet Luis Enrique is already under pressure at Roma. They went down 2-1 at home to Cagliari yesterday. This is coming hot on the heels of their Europa league exit, so Luis may feel the wrath of the mob soon in the eternal city.
The Old Lady herself; Juventus celebrated the first game at their shiny new Juventus Arena by battering Parma 4-1. Among the scorers was new signing Arturo Vidal but it was another new boy who stole the show as Andrea Pirlo quickly assumed the General role at the heart of Juve’s midfield.
Napoli warmed up for their Champions League tie with Manchester City by beating Cesena 3-1. Ezequeil Lavezzi and Marek Hamisik were on the scoresheet.
Inter Milan made a losing start to life under Piero Gasperni coming out the wrong side of a 4-3 thriller with Palermo.
Hertha Berlin’s shock win at Broussia Dortmund was the main talking point of the weekend in Germany. Borussia had not lost a home game for 19 matches previous to this but goals from Raffael and Niemeyer consigned them to a 2-1 defeat.
At least it is only Arsenal they face next.
Bayern Munich are quietly plundering the goals. Mario Gomez struck four as Bayern routed Freiburg 7-0. Franck Ribery also scored two and his first is the best tap-in you will see all season.
Bayer Leverkusen continued their fine start to the season with a 4-1 win away to Augsburg.
Last time around Eurostar was drooling over Christian Eriksen of Ajax and because this column has an Arsene Wenger style love affair with diminutive playmakers, this week marks the first homage to Eden Hazard of Lille.
The French champions were losing 1-0 away to St Etienne on Saturday until Hazard slalomed his way through the home sides defence to equalise. He also gave Lille the lead before Ludovic Obraniak finished the game at 3-1.
Liverpool fans, yes that is Joe Cole dribbling past players to set up the third.
Lyon returned to the top of the table with a 2-1 win away to Dijon while things go from bad to worse for Didier Deschamps at Marseille, as they lost 1-0 at home to Rennes.
Ajax continued their strong start to life under Frank De Boer with a 3-2 win away to Heracles. Miralem Sulemjani and Siem De Jong with two were the scorers. FC Twente suffered something of a shock as they went down 2-1 to Roda.
PSV had to come from behind to scrape a 3-3 with lowly VVV Venlo. Venlo’s third goal from Maya Yoshida is a scissors kick volley which is brilliant in an obvious kind of way.
AZ Alkmaar’s 4-0 win over Vitesse would normally be considered unremarkable except it featured my favourite goal of the weekend. A no-look pass, followed by beating a defender and then finally a chip of which Luke Donald would be proud.
Benfica will go into their Champions league clash with Manchester United buoyed by a 2-1 win over Vitoria Guimaraes. Oscar Cardozo scored two penalties and missed one during the game.
Sporting Lisbon managed an extraordinary comeback in their 3-2 win over Pacos Ferreira. They were two down with twenty minutes to go but when the home side were reduced to ten men they scored three to complete a remarkable comeback.
Porto made light work of Vitoria Setubal, breezing them aside 3-0. Christian Rodriguez had the pick of the goals, finishing off a lovely team move.