Champions League, day 1

A best possible start for Spanish sides on the opening day of the league stage, Barcelona beating Sporting Lisbon 3-1 and Atlético Madrid winning 0-3 at PSV Eindhoven. And the good news continued the following day, Real Madrid cruising to a 2-0 win over BATE Borisov, and Villarreal holding Manchester United to a 0-0 draw in Old Trafford. (17.09.08)

Real Madrid 2 - BATE Borisov 0

A comfortable win for Real Madrid in their opening game, although given the opposition they must have been hoping for a bigger scoreline. Sergio Ramos gave them an early lead, turning the ball in to Borisov's net after Guti played in a corner. And Van Nistelrooy made it two ten minutes in to the second half, the Dutch striker scoring the easiest of goals after Raúl's shot came off keeper Veremko and defender Azhevskiy. They couldn't add to their lead though, even though full back Khagush was sent off for a second booking with half an hour still to go. (17.09.08)

Manchester United 0 - Villareal 0

Villarreal also got a great result, holding defending champions Manchester United to a 0-0 draw in Old Trafford. The English side had not dropped a point at home in the competition since they last played the Spaniards three years ago, but once again they were frustrated by Pellegrini and his men. Tévez had a shot cleared off the line and Evans headed against the post in a lively second half, but the best play of the game came from the visitors, Guille Franco hitting the post after a quick passing move split open the local defence. (17.09.08)

Barcelona 3 - Sporting Lisbon 1

Relief for Barcelona and coach Pep Guardiola, a 3-1 victory over Sporting Lisbon getting their season back on track after a poor start in the league. Márquez gave them the lead midway through the first half, heading Xavi's corner back down through a crowded goalmouth, and Eto'o made it two from the penalty spot after he was pushed in the area by Tonel on the hour mark. Tonel got one back though from Veloso's free kick a few minutes later, and it was not until Xavi turned in Iniesta's cross with three minutes to go that they were safe. (16.09.08)

PSV Eindhoven 0 - Atlético Madrid 3

Atlético Madrid's return to Europe's top competition couldn't have been better, a 0-3 win over PSV Eindhoven leaving them top of their group. Kun Agüero opened the scoring in the ninth minute, turning Luis García's cross past Isaksson, and the Argentinian striker added a second shortly before half time, controlling Sinama-Pongolle's centre and firing a shot past the keeper on the turn. And Maniche finished things off with a third goal early in the second half after Simao and Luis García combined to set him up. (16.09.08)