Gareth Bale scores for Real Madrid in their 3-3 draw with Levante, while Tammy Abraham registered two assists in a win for Jose Mourinho’s Roma on a busy Sunday of European action.
La Liga: Bale scores but Real draw thriller
Gareth Bale scored his first goal in almost two years for Real Madrid in LaLiga on Sunday but substitute Vinicius Jr stole the show with two late strikes to grab a 3-3 draw at Levante in a game that had it all.
Bale got Real off to a fine start in the fifth minute and Carlo Ancelotti’s side dominated the rest of the first half but found themselves 2-1 down early in the second period.
Levante striker Roger Marti beat Thibaut Courtois to level in the first minute after the interval before Jose Campana put the hosts in front with a sensational volley in the 57th.
Ancelotti took off Bale, Eden Hazard and Isco moments after the goal and substitute Vinicius had a prompt impact, levelling in the 73rd minute with a coolly taken finish following a defence-splitting through-ball from deep by Casemiro.
Levante restored their lead in the 79th through Roger Pier following a free-kick but Vinicius again came to Real’s rescue, levelling in the 85th minute with an audacious shot in off the post from a tight angle.
More chaos was to come as Levante keeper Aitor Fernandez was sent off for flying out of his area and handling the ball to stop a Real counter, leaving defender Ruben Vezo to don the gloves and protect the goal for the remaining few minutes.
Atletico Madrid forward Angel Correa scored for the third time in two games to give the LaLiga champions a somewhat unconvincing 1-0 win at home to Elche in an emotional return for supporters at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Sunday.
Captain Koke paraded the LaLiga trophy to the 25,000 fans at the stadium before kick-off in the first Atletico home game with supporters since March 2020 although the party atmosphere was dampened as the hosts made a poor start to the game.
But Correa eventually gave Atletico the lead in the 39th minute, calmly slotting into an unguarded net with the outside of his boot after Elche goalkeeper Kiko Casilla failed to properly deal with a long ball from Rodrigo de Paul.
Real Sociedad rebounded from an opening-day loss at Barcelona by beating promoted Rayo Vallecano 1-0 thanks to a 68th-minute penalty from Mikel Oyarzabal.
Serie A: Ronaldo off bench, Jose’s Roma win
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said it was his decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench at the start of Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Udinese.
Italian media reports said that Ronaldo had asked to be on the bench for Juve’s Serie A season opener in Udine, potentially in order to preserve his fitness as he looks to secure a move away from the club.
The Portuguese forward came off the bench in the 60th minute to almost snatch a dramatic stoppage-time winner, only for his header to be ruled out for offside after a lengthy VAR review.
Allegri told DAZN after the match: “Ronaldo is feeling well. I had talked to him before the game, telling him he would start on the bench. He made himself available, he did well when he entered the pitch.”
Jordan Veretout’s double helped Roma to earn a 3-1 victory over his former club Fiorentina in their season opener on Sunday, as Jose Mourinho got off to a winning start back as a Serie A coach in a match where both teams finished with 10 men.
Fiorentina goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski was given a straight red card for a foul on Roma new boy Tammy Abraham in the 17th minute, much to the bewilderment of the visitors’ coach Vincenzo Italiano.
Roma made the numerical advantage count in the Stadio Olimpico when Henrikh Mkhitaryan broke the deadlock in the 26th minute from an Abraham assist, the hosts going into the interval in control.
The tide turned when Nicolo Zaniolo, starting his first Serie A match in more than a year following a long injury layoff, received his second yellow card and was dismissed just after the break, before Nikola Milenkovic levelled on the hour mark.
With the numbers evened up, Roma stepped up a gear, with Abraham squaring for Veretout to restore the hosts’ lead, before the Frenchman made it 3-1 11 minutes from time.
In Sunday’s other late kick-off, goals from Lorenzo Insigne and Eljif Elmas gave Napoli a 2-0 win over Venezia in Naples, even though the home side had Victor Osimhen sent off in the first half
Bundesliga: Bayern edge past Cologne
Bayern Munich secured their first win of the Bundesliga campaign with a 3-2 victory over battling Cologne thanks to Serge Gnabry’s double and a Robert Lewandowski strike.
Gnabry thundered the ball past Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn in the 71st minute of the contest at the Allianz Arena to settle his team’s nerves, after the visitors had struck through Anthony Modeste and Mark Uth to make it 2-2.
The contest began on a sombre note after Bayern paid tribute to club hero Gerd Müller who died at the age of 75 last week, and it was Lewandowski who sparked it to life five minutes after the break by tapping in Jamal Musiala’s pass.
Gnabry doubled their advantage with a side-footed goal from Thomas Müller’s low cross, but Modeste pulled one back almost immediately in the 60th minute before Uth finished in style to level the contest two minutes later.
Earlier, 10-man Union Berlin drew 2-2 with Hoffenheim, with Taiwo Awoniyi netting a second-half equaliser, after team-mate Niko Giesselmann had scored the opener in the 10th minute.
Hoffenheim’s Kevin Akpoguma had drawn his side level at 1-1 in the 14th minute before Jacob Bruun Larsen thought he had sealed all three points with a well-taken goal.
The game turned scrappy towards the end and Berlin defender Marvin Friedrich was sent off in added time when he brought down Sargis Adamyan just outside the box for his second yellow card.
Ligue 1: Lyon denied by two-goal comeback
The Ligue 1 clash between Nice and Marseille was suspended in the second half due to serious crowd trouble on Sunday after Marseille players clashed with home fans who pelted them with missiles and came onto the pitch.
Nice supporters threw water bottles at Marseille forward Dimitri Payet when he was about to take a corner and, after the forward hurled one back at them, a full scale brawl ensued when some of the fans rushed on to the pitch.
Both teams retreated to the tunnel and play was held up for over an hour before Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere appealed to Nice supporters over the sound system for calm and the home players returned to the pitch to warm up.
But Marseille refused to join them, with French daily L’Equipe reporting that visiting players Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres were injured in the fighting.
Nice were 1-0 up when play was interrupted in the 75th minute, with Swedish striker Kasper Dolberg firing them ahead in the 49th after Marseille missed a string of first-half chances.
Ligue 1 newcomers Clermont Foot fought back from two goals down to salvage a 3-3 draw at Lyon after second-half substitute Elbasan Rashani netted a superb brace to continue their good start in the top flight.
In the day’s other matches, Montpellier celebrated a comeback 3-1 home win over Lorient, Strasbourg were held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Troyes and Angers earned a 1-1 draw at Bordeaux.
Metz were also held to a 1-1 home draw by Reims, with home manager Frederic Antonetti and his counterpart Oscar Garcia shown red cards for dissent by referee Florent Batta in the 87th minute of a contest littered by fouls.
Lyon appeared to be cruising towards their first league win of the season after a Moussa Dembele double helped them to a 3-1 first-half lead, with Lucas Paqueta adding the other to cancel out a Sinaly Diomande own goal.
The home side missed a string of chances after the break and were punished after Swedish-born Kosovo winger Rashani pulled one back with a dinked finish and then levelled in stoppage time with a superb header.
The result left Clermont, who had never played in the top tier before, third in the standings on seven points from three games, behind second-placed Angers on goal difference.
PSG are top with a maximum nine points after Friday’s 4-2 win at Brest. Angers also kept their unbeaten record intact after Romain Thomas struck in the 38th minute at Bordeaux, whose forward Sekou Mara gave the home side a 10th-minute lead.
Marshall Munetsi headed Reims against Mets into a seventh-minute lead before Habib Maiga equalised with a rasping long-range shot into the top corner in the 14th.
A Dimitry Bertaud own goal fired Lorient ahead at Strasbourg but the home side hit back through Teji Savanier, Stephy Mavididi and Andy Delort before the visitors had Houboulang Mendes sent off in the closing stages.