By IAN HOLLIDAY
Europe's top five leagues have now played between six and eight weeks each, and only in England is the preseason favorite at the top of the league table. After suffering its first defeat of the campaign to Manchester City last weekend, Chelsea rebounded nicely with a 2-0 win over Arsenal.
Everywhere else, traditional favorites have given way to upstart challengers, and in Germany and France, the traditional powers are a long way off the pace. In France, it's Rennes who have taken the league lead with a 3-1 home win over Toulouse, while in Germany Mainz continued their perfect start to the season with a 4-2 victory over Hoffenheim.
The big clubs are within striking distance in Italy and Spain, but relative minnows are still setting the pace. Valencia and Villareal top La Liga with 16 and 15 points, respectively, but Real Madrid put the league on notice Sunday with a 6-1 demolition of Deportivo la Coruna.
Meanwhile, in Italy, Inter Milan dropped points for the second straight week, this time drawing 0-0 with Juventus at home. The result paved the way for Lazio to claim top spot in Serie A with a 1-0 win over Brescia.
Here is a rundown of all the weekend scores from Europe's top leagues:
Liverpool's disappointing start got even worse this weekend, as the Reds lost 2-1 to promoted Blackpool at Anfield. The loss, coupled with Merseyside rival Everton's first victory of the season puts Liverpool in a relegation spot with only six points from seven matches played. At the other end of the spectrum, Chelsea extended its lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Arsenal, while Man United once again dropped points on the road, drawing 0-0 at Sunderland.
Wigan Athletic 2, Wolverhampton 0
Sunderland 0, Manchester United 0
Tottenham 2, Aston Villa 1
West Ham United 1, Fulham 1
West Bromwich Albion 1, Bolton 0
Birmingham City 0, Everton 2
Stoke City 1, Blackburn 0
Manchester City 2, Newcastle United 1
Liverpool 1, Blackpool 2
Chelsea 2, Arsenal 0
Through the first six weeks of the Spanish season, Real Madrid scored just 6 goals. In just 90 minutes against last-placed Deportivo La Coruna at the Santiago Bernabeu Sunday, they equaled that feat. The win was only good enough for third place in La Liga, however, as the top two spots are occupied by Valencia and Villareal, both of which took care of business this weekend against Athletic Bilbao and Racing Santander, respectively. Barcelona are fourth after dropping points at the Camp Nou again this week, this time to Mallorca.
Real Zaragoza 2, Sporting Gijon 2
Real Sociedad 1, Espanyol 0
Valencia 2, Athletic Bilbao 1
Osasuna 1, Levante 1
Villareal 2, Racing Santander 0
Sevilla 3, Athletico Madrid 1
Getafe 3, Hercules 0
Almeria 1, Malaga 1
Barcelona 1, Mallorca 1
Real Madrid 6, Deportivo la Coruna 1
A week after looking like they might right their ship with a 1-0 win over Inter, AS Roma were back to their losing ways Sunday against Napoli. Meanwhile, Inter could only manage a scoreless draw at home to Juventus. After their second straight week of dropped points, the defending treble winners surrendered the lead in Serie A to Lazio, who won 1-0 at home over Brescia.
Udinese 1, Cesena 0
Parma 0, AC Milan 1
Lecce 1, Catania 0
Bologna 1, Sampdoria 1
Fiorentina 1, Palermo 2
Lazio 1, Brescia 0
Napoli 2, AS Roma 0
Chievo 0, Cagliari 0
Genoa 2, Bari 1
Inter Milan 0, Juventus 0
FSV Mainz 05's perfect start in Bundesliga play continued Saturday with a 4-2 win over Hoffenheim. With 21 points, Mainz are now three clear of Borussia Dortmund and eight clear of their next closest competition, third place Hannover 96. Meanwhile, bigger clubs like Schalke, Stuttgart, and Bayern Munich all continued to struggle. Shalke and Stuttgart suffered 2-1 defeats to Nurnberg and Eintracht Frankfurt, respectively, while Bayern lost 2-0 to 2nd-place Borussia Dortmund.
Hannover 96 0, St Pauli 1
SC Freiburg 3, FC Cologne 2
Hamburg 2, Kaiserslautern 1
Borussia Moenchengladbach 1, VfL Wolfsburg 1
Mainz 4, Hoffenheim 2
Nurnberg 2, Schalke 04 1
VfB Stuttgart 1, Eintracht Frankfurt 2
Borussia Dortmund 2, Bayern Munich 0
Bayer Leverkusen 2, Werder Bremen 2
Through eight matches, the 2010 French Ligue 1 table looks like the 2009 table turned upside-down. Last year's champions league qualifiers Lyon and Auxerre are hovering near the bottom with eight points each. Lyon won this week to climb out of the relegation zone, while Auxerre's 4-0 defeat of hapless Arles was the club's first of the season. Meanwhile, the top of the league features some of last season's bottom feeders, including leaders Rennes, who beat fourth-place Toulouse 3-1 to leapfrog St. Etienne, who fell to second after a 1-1 draw with last year's champions Marseille.
Monaco 0, Brest 1
Sochaux 3, Lens 0
AS Nancy Lorraine 2, Lyon 3
Valenciennes 2, Caen 1
Bordeaux 1, Lorient 0
Arles 0, AJ Auxerre 4
St. Etienne 1, Marseille 1
Paris St. Germain 0, Nice 0
Lille 3, Montpellier 1
Rennes 3, Toulouse 1
What did you think of this weekend's European results? Impressed with Real Madrid? Starting to wonder if Manchester United can stay in the title race? Think Valencia can stay in first place?
Share your thoughts below.