The sides expected to figure prominently in the continent's championship races all enjoyed successful outings over the weekend, except Arsenal, who suffered their first defeat of the season, and Bayern Munich, who drew again. Chelsea and Liverpool top the table in England after picking up rather fortunate wins, while Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux are setting the pace in France. rounds up the latest news from Europe's major leagues.

Premier League: Chelsea and Liverpool lead the way
Liverpool joined Chelsea at the top after labouring to a 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough. Trailing with just five minutes left, the Reds breathed a sigh of relief when Emanuel Pogatetz put through his own goal before Steven Gerrard drove home an injury-time winner. The Londoners, meanwhile, maintained their 100 per cent record courtesy of Deco's fourth-minute free-kick away to Wigan Athletic.

The hero of the day was Sunderland's new signing Djibril Cisse. The former Marseille striker came off the bench to give his side three points in a 2-1 win at Tottenham. Spurs' North London neighbours Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the season when they went down to a Brede Hangeland goal at Fulham, and Michael Owen got the only goal of the game as Newcastle United overcame Bolton. Reigning champions Manchester United travel to Portsmouth on Monday.

Top three: Chelsea, Liverpool (6 pts), Blackburn (4)
Bottom three: West Bromwich Albion, Wigan, Portsmouth (0)
Top scorers: Agbonlahor, Elano (3 goals), Ashton, Carew, Deco, Mido, Yakubu, Fuller (2)

Weekend stat: 17 - The number of minutes Djibril Cisse needed to open his account for his new employers, the second-half substitute nodding in Sunderland's winner just seven minutes from time.

Ligue 1: Favourites flex their muscles
Marseille and Lyon took their points tallies to seven with respective 1-0 and 2-0 wins over the newly promoted duo of Le Havre and Grenoble. Le Mans continued their fine start to the season with a 1-0 win over surprise strugglers Saint-Etienne, while Sochaux earned their first point with a 1-1 draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain. Last season's overachievers Nancy were held 0-0 at home by Toulouse and lie just off the relegation zone.

Rennes earned some breathing space with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Lille, both of their goals coming in injury time. That result left the Nordistes rooted to the bottom of the table. Faring little better are Auxerre, who went down 1-0 to Nice at the Abbe-Deschamps. At the other end of the table, Bordeaux kept in touch with the leading duo thanks to a 2-0 defeat of Nantes.

Top three: Marseille, Lyon (7 pts), Bordeaux (6)
Bottom three: Sochaux, Nantes, Lille (1)
Top scorers: Benzema (3 goals), Akrour, Maiga, Helstad, Makoun, Zenden (2)

Weekend stat: 22 - The number of matches Le Havre went undefeated at home in all competitions until they lost to Marseille on Saturday. The last side to win at the Jules Deschaseaux was Dijon on 4 May 2007.

Bundesliga: 1899 Hoffenheim stay sharp, Bayern blunted
Jurgen Klinsmann's Bayern Munich continue to toil despite welcoming Luca Toni back on Saturday. The defending champions, still without Franck Ribery, fell behind to an early strike at Borussia Dortmund, but reacted just in time to earn their second draw in two games. Elsewhere, Werder Bremen and Schalke 04, the two sides who finished behind Bayern last season, shared the spoils in another 1-1 draw.

Out in front on their own, however, are early-season revelations 1899 Hoffenheim. The Bundesliga new boys made it two wins out of two with a narrow 1-0 win against Borussia Moenchengladbach, and now lie two points clear of Schalke 04, Hertha Berlin, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburg and Wolfsburg. Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen occupy mid-table positions four points behind the leaders.

Top three: 1899 Hoffenheim (6 pts), Schalke 04, Hertha Berlin (4)
Bottom three: Energie Cottbus, Hanover 96 (1), Borussia Moenchengladbach (0)
Top scorers: Wichniarek, Ibisevic (3 goals), Helmes, Novakovic, Kuranyi, Rosenberg (2)

Weekend stat: 0 - The number of goals conceded by 1899 Hoffenheim this term, the only side in the league with a perfect defensive record.

Elsewhere: False start for Fenerbahce
The favourites for the title enjoyed contrasting fortunes as the Turkcell Süper Lig got under way at the weekend. Galatasaray eased past Denizlispor 4-1 and Besiktas came from two goals down to beat Antalyaspor 3-2. There was misery for Fenerbahce, however, when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Gaziantepspor.

There was no shortage of goalmouth action in Switzerland's AXPO Super League, with the five games serving up 23 goals in total (4.6 per match). Basel beat Neuchatel Xamax 4-3 to stay out in front, while the chasing Aarau and FC Zurich stand three and five points behind respectively.

Day one of Portugal's Liga Sagres produced few surprises as Porto beat Belenenses 2-0, and Sporting Lisbon downed Trofense 3-1.

Rubin Kazan stretched their lead at the top of the Russian Premier League to four points after beating FK Khimki 2-0 and seeing closest challengers Dynamo Moscow held to a 1-1 draw by Spartak Moscow. Spartak now lie fourth, a whole nine points off the lead, with Amkar Perm just two above them in third.