Adriano’s goal on the stroke of half time was enough to give Barcelona a 0-1 success at Malaga on Sunday evening but the Catalan giants weren’t nearly as impressive as many had hoped despite dominating possession for most of the game.
The champions picked up from where they left off last season on the opening day of the campaign, smashing Levante for seven at the Nou Camp to signal their intent to main rivals Real Madrid who were contrastingly underwhelming in their victory against Real Betis.
But Malaga provided a much stiffer resistance to Gerardo Martino’s men who were fortunate not to be punished by a string of wasted chances at the death having failed to put the contest to bed.
Los Merengues had to wait until Monday evening to post their response on the road against Granada and Carlo Ancelotti’s side were again ring rusty despite a 0-1 success.
Karim Benzema’s goal ten minutes in proved enough for the three points but Madrid fans may be a shade concerned over how much their team has had to work twice against opposition they would have been expected to brush aside.
Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal and Atletico Madrid are the other three clubs boasting a 100% after round two – the latter’s latest triumph a thumping 5-0 mauling of Rayo Vallecano at Vicente Calderon which will have done much to banish the memory of summer export Radamel Falcao.
In Germany, Bayern Munich, Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen all maintained their perfect starts to the campaign at the weekend with home victories.
Bundesliga and Euro kings Bayern swept aside Nuremburg with late goals from wide men Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, whilst last season’s runner’s up and Champions League finalists Dortmund edged out Werder Bremen with a goal from star man Robert Lewandowski.
Mainz kept up their hot streak with a 2-0 win against Wolfsburg, whilst Leverkusen ran out 4-2 to the good in a six goal thriller with Monchengladbach.
Serie A got underway with defending champions Juventus snatching a 0-1 result at Sampdoria courtesy of a goal from new signing Carlos Tevez – but it was likely title challengers Milan who hit all the headlines, albeit for the wrong reasons, with a surprise 2-1 defeat at Verona.
Lazio, Cagliari, Roma, Fiorentina, Inter, Napoli and Torino all got off to successful starts in an uncharacteristic Italian weekend of fixtures that produced just the solitary draw between Parma and Chievo.
Elsewhere across Europe, PSV were stopped in their tracks by Hercules, the minnows holding the Eredivisie champions to a 1-1 draw, whilst PSG came out on top in the big game of the weekend in France with a 1-2 success at Nantes.
And in Portugal, Benfica bounced back from their opening weekend embarrassment against Maritimo with a 2-1 home win against Gil Vicente.