The European football season is now completely underway and most leagues have already played multiple weeks. With three rounds of play under their belt, Ligue 1 teams should be close to settled in, but it's become apparent at Paris Saint-Germain that there is a lot of work left to be done.
Zenit St. Petersburg continue to sit on top of the table in Russia, but they've hit a patch of bad form. In Portugal, FC Porto and Benfica look set for another fantastic title race in Liga Sagres. The season's first Istanbul Derby also took place this week and was an absolute thriller, while Twente look like they're going to continue to challenge Ajax and PSV despite their recent sales.
PSG still looking disjointed
It takes a few matches for new signings to blend into a side, but surely PSG should be a bit better than this? They drew their third consecutive match on Sunday in a putrid 0-0 draw with Girondins Bordeaux. The home side's best chance came from a dead ball, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck the post with a direct free kick in the 53rd minute. They were otherwise fairly lifeless, and didn't have much of a spark.
Marseille have just 18 players with experience in senior professional football remaining in their squad, but they're still looking like the best team in France at the moment. They won their third game of the year on Sunday with an impressive 1-0 away win against Montpellier. The defending champions have yet to win this season, and it appears as if they're going to struggle to recover from the loss of Olivier Giroud.
Yann M'Vila scored the winner for Rennes in the most exciting match of the week in Ligue 1 as his side defeated Bastia 3-2. Reims grabbed their first Ligue 1 win in over 30 years by defeating Sochaux, who are looking like heavy relegation favorites, 1-0 at home. Valenciennes and Toulouse also looked good in wins and both are still undefeated on the season. Saint-Etienne, who lost their first two games of the season, bounce back with a stellar 4-0 thrashing of Brest.
Premier League teams have five days to buy Siem De Jong
No Christian Eriksen? No problem. Ajax were without their star due to an illness at the weekend and they didn't miss him one bit. Ajax's opponent, NAC Breda, is a very poor team, but it still takes a massive amount of talent to do what Siem De Jong did to a professional football club on Saturday in Ajax's 5-0 win. He had a goal and an assist, but his contribution went far beyond those numbers. He was a major part of the build-up in the other goals as well.
Everything went more or less according to play in the Netherlands over the weekend, with the only slight surprise being AZ Alkmaar's 0-0 draw against a recently gutted Heerenveen side. FC Twente kept up their perfect record with a 3-1 win over NEC and PSV Eindhoven defeated FC Groningen by the same score.
Is Zenit faltering?
After four weeks of perfection to open the season, Zenit St. Petersburg has dropped points in each of their last two games. Their draw away to Anzhi Makhackala looked like a minor hiccup, but they were very disappointing on Saturday as Rubin Kazan pulled off a stunning 2-1 victory. Rubin lost last week to Spartak Moscow, but were at their best this weekend. Zenit led 1-0 at halftime, but Rubin equalized with a penalty in the 52nd minute, converted by Bibras Natcho. Nine minutes later, Roman Eremenko netted the winner with a spectacular 30-yard knuckleball that froze Vyacheslav Malafeev. The Zenit keeper never bothered to move his feet.
Zenit are, inexplicably, being chased by Terek Grozny. Russia's biggest overachievers sit in second place after defeating third-placed Spartak Moscow 2-1 at the weekend. CSKA Moscow also gained ground on the reigning champions with a 3-0 win over Krylya Sovetov.
Porto, Benfica recover from Week 1 stumbles
Both Porto and Benfica opened their Portuguese Liga campaigns with draws last week, and both recovered magnificently with spectacular blowout victories over the weekend. Porto laid a 4-0 shellacking on Vitoria Guimaraes, while Benfica won 5-0 away to Vitoria Setubal. Most games in the Liga are pointless, except when Porto and Benfica fall asleep.
Sporting Braga, one of the other two teams in the league that is remotely relevant, followed up their Week 1 draw against Benfica with a 3-1 victory over Beira-Mar. Sporting Lisbon, who drew Vitoria Guimaraes to start the year, play on Monday against Rio Ave.
The SPL is still a thing
In case you didn't know, professional football is still played in Scotland. Celtic rested a number of their first team players and still defeated Inverness 4-2 on the road. Gary Hooper, Adam Matthews and Emilio Izaguirre, three of the few first team players who started the match, all came out in the second half. The Bhoys should be well rested for their Champions League match against Helsingborgs in midweek.
Greek Super League gets underway
Olympiakos and Panathinaikos both lost key players in the transfer market this summer, but are favorites for the title as usual. Both teams started the campaign on the road and both managed to engineer road wins. Panathinaikos defeated Levadiakos 1-0 and Olympiakos beat Veria 2-1. Fellow contenders PAOK beat Panthrakikos 1-0.
Istanbul derbies are the best derbies
Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas are not the consistent threats to make the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League that they were in the previous decade, but it's still a load of fun whenever they play each other. Besiktas hosted Gala in the first league Istanbul derby of the year, and they did not disappoint.
Just 20 seconds into the match, Umut Bulut had a stunning miss on an empty net for Gala. Things got worse for them quickly, with Besiktas taking the lead eight minutes in on an own goal by Felipe Melo, who embarrassingly turned a set piece towards his own net. Things got better for Galatasary, however, as Melo's goal was just the first of six in an incredible back-and-forth match.
Johan Elmander scored an equalizer in the 20th minute. He made the best of a poor clearance by Ugur Boral, hitting an impressive side-volley into the back of the net at the near post. Filip Holosko regained the lead for Besiktas in the 43rd minute, but Umut Bulut leveled just two minutes later, sending the sides into halftime tied.
Holosko completed a brace shortly after the break and it appeared for most of the match that Besiktas were going to hang on for a massive home derby win. Unfortunately, they were eventually robbed. In the 85th minute, Burak Yilmaz tripped over his own feet in the penalty area. The referee thought he saw a push and pointed to the spot. Bulut stepped up and converted, stealing a point for Galatasaray in a 3-3 draw.
In other action, Fenerbahce defeated Gaziantepspor 3-0 and Trabzonspor downed Elazigspor 2-0.