Pitchside Europe

Europe’s holy trinity retain perfect records

Pitchside Europe

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Barcelona and Atletico Madrid maintained their perfect records in La Liga while Roma won their seventh match in a row in Serie A.

Bayern Munich went top of the Bundesliga and Andrea Pirlo was in sparkling form as Juventus beat AC Milan in Italy.

Paris St Germain got the better of bitter rivals Olympique Marseille in Ligue 1 to keep pace with Monaco, while Premier League club Arsenal dropped points for the first time since the opening day of the season but stayed at the top of the table.

SPAIN

Alexis Sanchez struck twice and created a goal for Neymar as Barcelona recovered from conceding early to maintain their perfect La Liga start with a 4-1 win at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday.

An eighth victory in eight games for the champions restored their five-point advantage over arch-rivals Real Madrid who needed a Cristiano Ronaldo goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to secure a 3-2 triumph at Levante earlier.

Atletico Madrid kept pace with Barcelona with Diego Costa scoring both goals in a workmanlike 2-1 victory over Celta Vigo on Sunday.

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Diego Costa scored twice and missed a penalty (AFP)

Diego Costa scored twice and missed a penalty (AFP)

ITALY

AS Roma made it seven wins from seven games when two goals from 37-year-old Francesco Totti helped them to a stunning 3-0 win at previously unbeaten Inter Milan.

A breakaway goal from Alessandro Florenzi completed the rout to leave Roma on 21 points from seven games and making them early title favourites.

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2013, Florenzi, Totti, Roma, AP/LaPresse

2013, Florenzi, Totti, Roma, AP/LaPresse

Napoli and defending champions Juventus both won to stay two points behind.

Napoli demolished promoted Livorno 4-0 while goals from Andrea Pirlo, Sebastian Giovinco and Giorgio Chiellini gave Juve a 3-2 win over Milan, who had taken the lead through Sulley Muntari after 20 seconds. Muntari also scored Milan's consolation.

GERMANY

Treble winners Bayern Munich reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga despite a 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.

Franck Ribery beautifully set up Toni Kroos for Bayern's 30th-minute lead but Leverkusen, a point behind on 19 in third place, struck straight back through Sidney Sam.

Bayern, who were the better team throughout and missed half a dozen clear scoring chances, have 20 points from eight matches, one ahead of Dortmund and third-placed Leverkusen.

The Bavarians, who were last beaten in the league by Leverkusen last year, have now gone 33 league games without defeat - three shy of the record.

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Ribéry and Robben

Ribéry and Robben

Dortmund slipped down to second after missing a bagful of chances themselves and conceding two late goals to slump to a 2-0 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach for their first loss of the campaign.

ENGLAND

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League on Sunday after Jack Wilshere rescued a point for them in a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion, but rivals Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs all made up ground with wins.

Liverpool are level on points with Arsenal after strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge both scored for the second week running on Saturday in a 3-1 win at home to Crystal Palace, while Chelsea won at Norwich by the same scoreline to go third.

Jose Mourinho's team were 1-1 until the dying stages of Sunday's match but a raft of attacking substitutions and late goals from Eden Hazard and Willian helped give them a comfortable victory.

Manchester United's conveyor belt of exciting young players seems still to be in working order after 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj struck twice as they came from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1, avoiding a third straight league defeat.

The shock of the weekend came at White Hart Lane where Tottenham Hotspur were stunned 3-0 by West Ham United while surprise package Southampton won 2-0 at home to Swansea City to move fourth.

They are one spot above Manchester City who beat Everton 3-1.

FRANCE

Monaco retained their Ligue 1 lead as James Rodriguez set up both goals in a 2-1 home win against St Etienne on Saturday.

Rodriguez fed Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Lucas Ocampos to put the principality's side on 21 points from nine matches.

They lead Paris St Germain on goal difference as the French champions snatched a 2-1 comeback win at Olympique Marseille despite playing with 10 men for an hour.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner from the penalty spot.

Marseille are now fourth on 17 points.

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Paris Saint Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring a penalty during their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Olympique Marseille at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille October 6, 2013. (Reuters)

Paris Saint Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring a penalty during their French Ligue 1 soccer …

AUSTRIA

FC Salzburg equalled Rapid Vienna's 26-year-old Austrian Bundesliga record of 30 matches unbeaten when they won 2-1 at champions Austria Vienna.

Salzburg have not lost a league game since their defeat against SV Ried in November last year.

Brazilian Alan scored the second-half winner for Salzburg with his eighth goal of the season to take them on to 25 points from 11 games, six clear of second-placed Ried.

SWITZERLAND

Leaders Basel went three points clear of Grasshoppers at the top of the Swiss Super League when they came from behind to win 2-1 at Lausanne Sport despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.

Salim Khelifi gave the hosts a 14th minute lead and Basel pulled level with an own goal by Kevin Fickentscher six minutes before the break.

Basel's Ivorian forward Giovanni Sio was sent off after clashing with Lausanne captain Guillaume Katz in the 50th minute, but Arlend Ajeti grabbed a winner on the hour.

Grasshoppers drew 1-1 at FC Thun.

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