By DAVID MOSSE
Arsenal supporters hope Sunday’s embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Manchester United represents rock bottom with Arsene Wenger finally motivated to react in the transfer market. The Gunners were without several first-team players, but there was no excuse for the shambolic defensive performance, particularly in the second half.
Wayne Rooney took advantage, firing a sensational hat trick with two goals coming off free kicks, while Ashley Young added two brilliant strikes from long distance. Danny Welbeck, Ji-Sung Park and Nani also found the back of the net for the Red Devils, while Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott accounted for the Arsenal scoring.
Manchester United sits atop the English Premier League table after three rounds, ahead of city rivals Manchester City on goal difference, while Arsenal is mired in 17th place with no victories so far. This could be a very long season for the Gunners with the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri proving too much to overcome.
Here’s a rundown of all the weekend scores from some of Europe’s top leagues:
Manchester City made its own statement on Sunday, thrashing Tottenham 5-1 at White Hart Lane. Edin Dzeko bagged four goals and Sergio Aguero added another, while Samir Nasri enjoyed an outstanding debut for his new team. Younes Kaboul scored the lone goal for Spurs, who were unable to field Emmanuel Adebayor.
Spanish midfielder Juan Mata found the back of the net, as Chelsea knocked off Norwich City 3-1 on Saturday in a match marred somewhat by the injury to Didier Drogba. Jose Bosingwa and Frank Lampard also scored for the Blues, but the Ivory Coast striker suffered a mild concussion after colliding with goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Aston Villa 0, Wolverhampton 0
Wigan 2, Queens Park Rangers 0
Blackburn 0, Everton 1
Swansea City 0, Sunderland 0
Liverpool 3, Bolton 1
Newcastle 2, Fulham 1
West Bromwich 0, Stoke City 1
Cristiano Ronaldo scored three times and Kaka came off the bench to contribute a sensational strike, as Real Madrid made a winning start to its La Liga campaign with a 6-0 demolition of Real Zaragoza. Marcelo and Xabi Alonso also found the back of the net for Jose Mourinho’s side, while Fabio Coentrao put forth a solid performance.
Barcelona answered Real Madrid's blowout with its own emphatic victory, a 5-0 thrashing of Villarreal. New acquisitions Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez both scored in the romp.
Valencia has sold a number of top players the past two summers, including David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata, but Roberto Soldado is still around, and the talented striker fired a hat trick in a 4-3 win over Racing Santander. Mata’s departure means Ever Banega is now the most influential figure in the center of the park.
Sporting Gijon 1, Real Sociedad 2
Granada 0, Real Betis 1
Atletico Madrid 0, Osasuna 0
Athletic Bilbao 1, Rayo Vallecano 1
Mallorca 1, Espanyol 0
Getafe 1, Levante 1
Sevilla 2, Malaga 1
Mario Gomez notched all three goals, as Bayern Munich took care of business on Saturday with a 3-0 away win over Kaiserslautern. Gomez broke the deadlock from the penalty spot and added two more goals 15 minutes apart in the second half. Bayern has won three in a row and now sits atop the standings after four rounds.
Schalke is level with Bayern Munich on points, but behind on goal difference. Ralf Rangnick’s side picked up its third straight victory with the latest win coming at the expense of previously unbeaten Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday. Raul scored the only goal of the match with an awkward finish midway through the second half.
Hertha Berlin 1, Stuttgart 0
Hamburger 3, FC Koln 4
Nuernberg 1, Augsburg 0
SC Freiburg 3, Wolfsburg 0
Hoffenheim 1, Werder Bremen 2
Bayern Leverkusen 0, Borussia Dortmund 0
Hannover 1, FSV Mainz 1
What did you think of this week’s results? Excited by the Manchester United-Arsenal match? Is Bayern Munich the top team in Germany?