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European Weekend Round-Up

Last weekend the Premier League kicked off a new season and this weekend it was the turn of the Serie A to start a new season.

Italy
With the fixture list handing them a comfortable-looking opener against promoted Bari, Inter coach José Mourinho had reason for optimism ahead of the Italian champions’ first 2009/10 league fixture, but Sunday’s game was to be a big let-down. Bari defended doggedly, and the only breakthrough Inter could make – despite increasingly ferocious tactical changes – was a 56th-minute penalty converted by debutant Samuel Eto’o. Headlines needed to be re-written as Vitali Kutuzov levelled on the counterattack with 16 minutes to go. “In the end we could have won,” mused Bari coach Giampiero Ventura. AC Milan won their first game 2-1 at Siena while last season’s runners-up Juventus were 1-0 winners against Chievo Verona.

England
In the English Premier League, United atoned for a 1-0 midweek defeat at Burnley with a 5-0 rampage at Wigan Athletic, featuring Wayne Rooney’s 100th goal for the club and Michael Owen’s first. Arsenal scored six at Everton last week and registered four more in a 4-1 humbling of Portsmouth. Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur share top spot, though, having both taken maximum points from their three league games this season.

Spain
La Liga and European champions FC Barcelona warmed up for the new Spanish season by winning the Spanish Super Cup defeating Athletic Club Bilbao 3-0.

The game was scoreless at half-time then Lionel Messi took over. Just four minutes into the half and Messi made the breakthrough, skipping down the right and beating Gorka Iraizoz from an acute angle. Messi added a second from the penalty spot before substitute Bojan Krkić added a third.