By ADAM TROXTELL
Bayern Munich laid down an early claim to the Bundesliga title with a win against Bayer Leverkusen.
Thomas Muller scored twice in a 3-0 victory at home against Leverkusen in an early season battle of unbeaten teams. A converted penalty for Arjen Robben, the Dutchman’s first goal of this season, sealed the win in the 71st minute.
Bayern took a 1-o lead into halftime thanks to Muller. The German attacker leapt in front of his marker to turn in Douglas Costa’s cross in the 26th minute for the lead.
The hosts dominated possession up to that point, but the teams went into the break with the same amount of opportunities. Life became more difficult for the Leverkusen attack in the second half, and Bayern pounced.
Muller converted a penalty kick in the 60th minute, slotting the ball right down the middle after Roberto Hilbert was called for pushing down Arturo Vidal in the box. Robben scored his own 11 minutes later, with Hilbert again involved by handling the ball in the box to grant Bayern a spot kick.
Elsewhere in Europe, both Chelsea and Liverpool suffered surprise defeats in front of home fans. Lyon picked up an overwhelming win in Ligue 1 play.
Here is a rundown of Saturday’s action in Europe:
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
An anxious international break awaits for Chelsea fans.
The club sits in 12th place in the English Premier League after Crystal Palace prevailed, 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Palace now has three wins in the first four games of the season.
In contrast, champions Chelsea have just one. The Blues went behind on Saturday first when Bakary Sako blasted his own rebound over Thibaut Courtois in the 65th minute.
Radamel Falcao equalized by scoring his first goal for Chelsea, stepping in front of his man to head Pedro’s cross from the left inside the near post in the 79th minute. Just two minutes later, the visitors were back in front when Sako found Joel Ward for a wide open header.
Elsewhere, West Ham took a surprise 3-0 win away from Liverpool. Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble had the visitors up at halftime, while Diafra Sakho added another late after Philippe Coutinho was sent off for a second yellow card.
Tim Howard came up big on numerous occasions as Everton battled to a 0-0 draw against Tottenham. Howard’s best came midway through the first half when he stuck out a foot to deny Harry Kane in a one-on-one situation.
Stoke finished with nine men in a 1-0 loss to West Brom. Ibrahim Affelay and Charlie Adam were shown red cards in the first half before Salomon Rondon handed West Brom the win in the 45th minute.
Here are all of Saturday’s Premier League results:
Bournemouth 1, Leicester 1
Aston Villa 2, Sunderland 2
Chelsea 1, Crystal Palace 2
Liverpool 0, West Ham 3
Manchester City 2, Watford 0
Stoke 0, West Brom 1
Tottenham , Everton
Frankfurt and American defender Timmy Chandler completed a solid road trip to Stuttgart with a 4-1 win.
A Luc Castaignos goal, his first of two for the afternoon, handed Frankfurt the momentum just three minutes before halftime. An own goal from Adam Hlousek had put Frankfurt ahead before Stuttgart equalized through Daniel Didavi in the 30th minute.
Stuttgart saw goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton sent off in the 67th minute when he committed a foul as the last man back. Haris Seferovic converted the penalty for a 3-1 lead, and Castaignos sealed the win with his second in the 87th minute.
Elsewhere, Koln responded to Lewis Holtby’s opener for a 2-1 win against 10-man Hamburg. Emir Spahic was sent off in the 79th minute, shortly after Koln had equalized.
Here are today’s results from Germany:
Augsburg 0, Ingolstadt 1
Darmstadt 0, Hoffenheim 0
Koln 2, Hamburg 1
Mainz 3, Hannover 0
Stuttgart 1, Frankfurt 4
Bayern 3, Leverkusen 0
SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISION
It took a season, but Thomas Vermaelen is becoming a central player for Barcelona.
The defender scored the game winner for Barca in a 1-0 victory against Malaga on Saturday at Camp Nou. The Belgian’s 73rd minute strike broke the deadlock after the hosts had come close multiple times.
Carlos Kameni was in good form for Malaga, denying several attempts. Barcelona had 16 shots on target in the match, but had to wait to find a difference maker.
Luis Suarez sent a low ball across that Kameni palmed away. The rebound fell straight to Vermaelen, who hit a first time shot into the back of the net for Barca’s second consecutive win to start the season.
In other La Liga action, Real Sociedad and Sporting Gijon finished scoreless.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Carlos Bacca has opened his account for AC Milan in the club’s first win of the season.
The Colombian opened the scoring in the 17th minute in a 2-1 win against Empoli. Luiz Adriano provided the winning goal in the 69th minute.
Adriano provided the opening goal, slotting a pass through to Bacca who rounded the goalkeeper before applying the finish. Just four minutes later, Riccardo Saponara had the equalizer for Empoli.
Still locked midway through the second half, Adriano then got his own goal by heading in a free kick from Giacomo Bonaventura.
Earlier in the day, Sassuolo won its second consecutive game with a 1-0 victory against Bologna.
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Lyon made its first major title statement ahead of the international break with a 4-0 win against Caen.
Nabil Fekir’s hat-trick led the way for Lyon, who climbed to fifth with the victory. Fekir scored twice in the first half and his third in the 58th minute to set Lyon on its way.
Damien Da Silva’s red card for Caen in the 74th minute killed any possibility of a comeback. Claudio Beauvue scored in the 87th minute to complete the rout.
Elsewhere, Sofiane Boufal handed Lille its first win of the season with a 23rd minute goal that took the club past Ajaccio, 1-0.
Here are the Ligue 1 results from Saturday:
Caen 0, Lyon 4
Angers 1, Nice 1
Lille 1, Ajaccio 0
Reims 4, Lorient 1
Rennes 3, Toulouse 1
Troyes 0, Montpellier 0