European Rewind: Bayern bounces back, Arsenal still goalless and more

BayernWin (Getty)

By IAN HOLLIDAY

Last week, Bayern Munich needed a last-second goal from Luiz Gustavo to avoid going winless through the first two weeks of the season. This week, it took significantly less time for the Bavarian giants to get on the board, and once they did, they never looked back.

Bayern got a goal each from stars Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez en route to a 5-0 trouncing of Hamburg, earning an easy three points to keep pace with early Bundesliga leaders Hannover 96 and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

The marquee matchup of the weekend in England saw Arsenal hosting Liverpool in a battle of former "big four" clubs that have fallen back to the pack in recent seasons. Both clubs drew their league openers last week, Arsenal playing to a scoreless draw with Newcastle and Liverpool finishing 1-1 with Sunderland.

The match looked like it could be headed for another scoreless draw until the 78th minute, when Ignasi Miquel's clearance caromed off Aaron Ramsey's chest and into the net for an own goal. Luis Suarez added a second in stoppage time to give the Reds their first away win over Arsenal since 2000. The result leaves Arsenal with just one point on the young season, having failed to score a goal in its first 180 minutes of the year.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Spanish and Italian top flights are still at least a week away from kicking off since a players' strike in Spain postponed the planned first round of La Liga.

Here's a rundown of all the weekend scores from Europe's top leagues:

ENGLAND

With two rounds of the Premier League season nearly complete (Manchester United hosts Tottenham Monday night), only two clubs have a perfect record so far. One of them, predictably, is Manchester City, which has shown a penchant for scoring goals in bunches in its first two games. The other is Wolverhampton Wanderers, which followed its 2-1 win at Blackburn last week with a solid 2-0 home victory over Fulham Sunday. Even if the Red Devils join the perfect-start club with a win over Tottenham, Wolves will still be in limited and impressive company. Whether they can continue their strong start remains to be seen. Upcoming matches at Aston Villa and home to Tottenham will tell us more about just how seriously to take last year's 17th-place finishers' chances of staying up again this year.

Norwich City 1, Stoke City 1

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Fulham 0

Bolton 2, Manchester City 3

Sunderland 0, Newcastle United 1

Arsenal 0, Liverpool 2

Aston Villa 3, Blackburn 1

Everton 0, Queens Park Rangers 1

Swansea City 0, Wigan Athletic 0

Chelsea 2, West Bromwich Albion 1

Monday: Manchester United v. Tottenham

GERMANY

While the Premier League still has at least two clubs on perfect starts, every club in the Bundesliga has either lost or drawn at least once. Leading the way, ahead of until-recently struggling Bayern, are Hannover 96, which lost its perfect 2-0 start Sunday with a draw against Hertha Berlin, and Borussia Moenchengladbach, which came from behind to crush Wolfsburg 4-1 on Friday. Both clubs are on seven points, but 'gladbach is the bigger surprise of the two. The owners of Michael Bradley's contract spent most of last season dead last in the Bundesliga, climbing out of the cellar just in time to secure a relegation playoff. Though it's only been three weeks, the 2011-12 season is looking much better for the club so far.

Mainz 05 2, Schalke 04 4

Hannover 96 1, Hertha Berlin 1

Bayern Munich 5, Hamburg 0

Borussia Dortmund 2, Nurnberg 0

FC Augsburg 0, Hoffenheim 2

VfB Stuttgart 0, Bayer Leverkusen 1

Werder Bremen 5, SC Freiburg 3

FC Cologne 1, Kaiserslautern 1

Borussia Moenchengladbach 4, VfL Wolfsburg 1

FRANCE

Continuing the theme of unexpectedly strong starts for teams that finished last year near the bottoms of their leagues, France offers Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier, the only club in the league to go a perfect three for three in the first three rounds. Last year's 14th-place finishers were only three points above the relegation zone in a super-tight 2010-11 French table. This year, Montpellier finds itself in first place with nine points and just one goal allowed through its first three matches, which include a 1-0 win over last year's champions Lille and a 4-0 demolition of a Stade Rennes side that finished eight places higher than it last year. The club travels to the Stade de Gerland to take on Lyon next week. A win would put the rest of Ligue 1 on notice.

AS Nancy Lorraine 1, Sochaux 2

Montpellier 4, Stade Rennes 0

Paris St. Germain 2, Valenciennes 1

Marseille 0, St. Etienne 0

Bordeaux 1, AJ Auxerre 1

Brest 1, Lyon 1

Caen 1, Lille 2

Dijon 2, Lorient 0

Nice 1, Toulouse 1

AC Ajaccio 1, Evian Thonon 1

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What did you think of this weekend's results? See any of the surprise table-toppers holding on? Think Arsene Wenger is on his way out at Arsenal?

Share your thoughts below.

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5 Responses to European Rewind: Bayern bounces back, Arsenal still goalless and more

  1. Steve C says:

    If anyone else watched the Liverpool/Arsenal game this weekend, after the 2nd goal by Suarez. The camera showed the players celebrating and I swear it looked like Raul Meireles was flicking someone off. Did anyone else catch that??

  2. Welshbean says:

    I did….I wonder if the FA did too?

  3. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Yup…100% sure he was

  4. Justin says:

    He was giving the middle finger to Lucas as a joke, because Frimpong did it to Lucas as well when he got the red card.

  5. K Bone says:

    If Rooney had done that it would have been a three match ban…