Big wins for Man United, Inter Milan
LONDON (AP) — Strengthened by its expensive new signings, Manchester United rediscovered its swagger in a 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers to suggest that England’s biggest club might be getting back to its best.
Inter Milan won by an even bigger scoreline in Italy, 7-0 against Sassuolo, while Valencia maintained its impressive start to the season in Spain.
Here is a roundup of the action in Europe’s top leagues on Sunday:
To the backdrop of fans chanting “We’re going to win the league,” United ended its winless start to the Premier League season with a result and performance that may be seen as the true beginning to the Louis van Gaal era.
Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera scored their first goals for United, Wayne Rooney added a third before the break and Juan Mata also found the net against QPR to give Van Gaal his first win in five competitive matches in charge.
All that was missing for a home crowd that rediscovered its full voice was a goal for Radamel Falcao. He came on as a substitute in the 67th minute for his debut in a season-long loan from Monaco that is costing a reported $25 million in salary and fee.
The Colombia striker was presented with a great opportunity from close range with seven minutes remaining, but his shot was saved.
Still, with the goals flying in elsewhere and the team showing more pace and intensity, it was like the old times again at Old Trafford.
“I said to the players before the match, ‘We have to make a new start today,’” Van Gaal said. “This is the selection — we start now.”
The victory lifted United to five points from four league matches
Mauro Icardi scored his first ever hat trick as Inter Milan swept aside 10-man Sassuolo for its first victory of the fledgling Serie A season, while AC Milan won 5-4 at Parma in a highly entertaining match, which saw both teams reduced to 10 men.
New signing Paolo Osvaldo netted twice and Mateo Kovacic also recorded his first league goal for Inter, while Fredy Guarin capped off a fantastic day for the Nerazzurri.
Sassuolo, which lost at home by the same scoreline in its first meeting with Inter last season, also had forward Domenico Berardi sent off for an elbow on Juan Jesus.
Jeremy Menez scored with a backheel for third goal in two games as Milan started with two straight wins for the first time in eight years.
Napoli missed a penalty as it went down to a surprise 1-0 loss at home to Chievo Verona, while Lazio beat Cesena 3-0.
Also, Fiorentina drew 0-0 with Genoa and Atalanta beat Cagliari 2-1. Sampdoria beat Torino 2-0 in the lunchtime kickoff and said it will donate half of the ticket sales to ALS research.
Valencia eased by Espanyol 3-1 at home on Sunday to remain unbeaten in the Spanish league under new coach Nuno Espirito Santo and continue its turnaround during a drawn-out sale of the club.
Valencia pulled level with Atletico Madrid in a share of second place, two points behind leader Barcelona.
Also, Elche won 3-2 at Rayo Vallecano for its first victory of the season and Villarreal drew 0-0 at Granada.
Valencia’s Pablo Piatti scored from a pass by new forward Rodrigo Moreno to put the hosts ahead in the seventh minute at Mestalla Stadium.
Midfielder Dani Parejo slotted in Valencia’s second in the 63rd, followed by new Spain striker Paco Alcacer’s goal in the 73rd to seal the win.
Espanyol’s Sergio Garcia earned a penalty kick that he converted in stoppage time for the consolation goal.
The highly indebted Valencia is being purchased by Singapore tycoon Peter Lim.
Hannover defeated Hamburger SV 2-0 in the Bundesliga to increase the pressure on former coach Mirko Slomka after a poor start to the season.
Leon Andreasen headed in the opening goal from Miiko Albornoz’ deep cross in the 13th minute and Artur Sobiech made it 2-0 in the 24th, bundling the ball over the line after a good cross from Spanish striker Joselu.
Hamburg is yet to score a goal in three Bundesliga games.
Raul Bobadilla’s second-half strike was enough for Augsburg to grind out a 1-0 Bundesliga win at Eintracht Frankfurt for the club’s first victory of the season.
Forward Divock Origi scored one goal and set up the other as Lille beat Nantes 2-0 at home Sunday to move top of the French league, while Marseille leapfrogged Bordeaux into second place with a 3-1 win at Evian.
Nantes conceded two quick goals after the break.
The 19-year-old Origi, who is on loan from Liverpool and played for Belgium at the World Cup, opened the scoring in the 47th with a powerful header. He created the second goal for Portuguese midfielder Marco Lopes three minutes later.
Marseille cruised to a third straight win thanks to goals from striker Andre-Pierre Gignac — after just 25 seconds — midfielder Giannelli Imbula and winger Florian Thauvin. Forward Clarck Nsikulu pulled a goal back for Evian in injury time.