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European Review: Manchester’s Win, Barca Draws and Inter Loses

Inter Milan kicked off the new Serie A season with a defeat and there was frustration elsewhere for European champions FC Barcelona, but the goals continue to flow for Mario Gomez and Wayne Rooney as the duo helped respective sides Bayern Munich and Manchester United record big wins.

Inter were hoping to make the most of Friday’s 2-2 draw for champions AC Milan against Lazio, but Inter were upset 4-3 away to against Palermo, despite two goals for Diego Milito and a first for summer signing Diego Forlán. The season curtain-raiser proved equally bad for Roma, who lost 2-1 at home against Cagliari, but no such problems befell Napoli, 3-1 winners against Cesena, or Juventus, who beat Parma 4-1 at their impressive new home.

Real Madrid opened up a two point gap on Liga rivals Barcelona after beating Getafe 4-2. Karim Benzema scoring either side of a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty before Gonzalo Higuaín’s late strike. The victory was all the sweeter for Barça’s 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad, which came despite the European club champions taking an early two-goal lead through Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas. Valencia are level at the summit with Madrid after their 1-0 defeat of Atlético de Madrid, and Real Betis Balompié joined them on Sunday via a 1-0 defeat of Mallorca.

Gomez followed up his hat-trick against FC Kaiserslautern with four more goals as Bayern swept aside Freiburg 7-0 to stay top of the pile. Champions Borussia Dortmund are certainly learning not to take anything for granted after they lost for the second time this term, 2-1 at home against Hertha Berlin. Instead, it is Werder Bremen keeping the pressure on at the summit as they beat bottom side Hamburg 2-0 to join Bayern on 12 points, while TSG 1899 Hoffenheim won 4-0 at FSV Mainz 05.

Manchester continues to take the Premier League by storm after Manchester City and Man United each registered a fourth successive top-flight victory. Roberto Mancini’s side laid down a marker with a 3-0 defeat of Wigan, Sergio Agüero scoring all three goals, before Rooney fired a hat-trick of his own – for the second league match running – in United’s 5-0 rout of Bolton. There were also narrow wins for Chelsea, who are two points adrift of the top two, and Arsenal, against Sunderland and Swansea City respectively.

Montpellier remain top thanks to their fourth victory in five games, a 1-0 home win against Nice. Montpellier are a point clear of Olympique Lyonnais, who triumphed 2-1 at Dijon, while titleholders Lille geared up for their UEFA Champions League return by winning 3-1 at Saint-Étienne, Eden Hazard scoring twice. There was also a notable 1-0 success for Stade Rennais at Olympique de Marseille, and Javier Pastore opened his Paris Saint-Germain account as the capital side edged Stade Brestois 29 1-0.

Samuel Eto’o scored his second goal in two matches for new side FC Anzhi Makhachkala as they beat FC Volga Nizhny Novgorod 2-1 to climb within six points of Russia’s joint leaders CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg, who both lost.