ENGLAND: Emery era at Arsenal begins with loss to City
LONDON — All that's changed for Arsenal fans is that they can no longer blame Arsene Wenger.
And Unai Emery will be relieved he doesn't have to come up against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City every week.
City rarely looked troubled by Arsenal as the champions opened their Premier League title defense with a 2-0 victory on Sunday. Raheem Sterling cut through the defense with ease before putting City ahead in the 14th minute, and Bernardo Silva curled in the second in the 64th at the Emirates Stadium.
It was the first time since 1996 that Arsenal has opened a season without Wenger in charge. The "Merci Arsene" banner was the only indication that it has been a summer of transition at the north London club since Wenger was pushed toward resigning after 22 years in charge.
Catching City isn't the immediate target for the Gunners, who last won the title in 2004. It's just about returning to the top four — to qualify for the Champions League — after slumping to sixth in Wenger's final campaign.
Emery now has a clear sense of the task he faces, throwing his arms in the air in frustration as the goals were conceded.
"It's clear today, Manchester City is demanding our best performance," the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla coach said. "We need to continue working. But I am happy with the players because they run and they fight, and also we need (to) continue working tactically."
It was a serene afternoon on the touchline for Guardiola, just like so much of last season which ended with City setting a series of Premier League records, notably by amassing 100 points.
"The desire to run and run, it was the same as the last season," Guardiola said. "The first game away against Arsenal, nobody can deny that it's complicated. A new manager after 20 years."
Guardiola, whose Barcelona came up against Emery as Valencia coach, is in only his third season at City.
"Manchester City's performance is showing us we need to continue in our process, improving," Emery said. "They deserved this, the result. But we were improving (across) the 90 minutes. I think we need (that) for the next week."
That is a challenging trip across London to Chelsea, which opened the season under new manager Maurizio Sarri with a 3-0 victory at Huddersfield on Saturday.
Liverpool signaled its determination to challenge for the title by spending more than $200 million on players, more than any other Premier League team in the summer transfer window.
With debuts for Alisson in goal and Naby Keita in midfield, Liverpool opened with a 4-0 victory over West Ham.
Mohamed Salah, who scored 44 times in his first season at Liverpool, took only 19 minutes to get off the mark at Anfield by meeting Andrew Robertson's cross with a tap-in.
Another cross from Robertson opened up West Ham for Liverpool's second in first-half stoppage time. James Milner's cutback was turned into the net by Sadio Mane, who added a third eight minutes after the break.
Even after Salah was taken off, the Egyptian's replacement, Daniel Sturridge, found the net late.
Liverpool, which finished fourth last season, hasn't won the English title since 1990.
"We know about our expectations and we realize there is a really positive atmosphere around us in the pre-season," manager Juergen Klopp said. "That is good that people are positive, but this season will be unbelievably hard. We cannot be anything different than the challenger because we haven't won anything since I came in."
Also Sunday, Southampton and Burnley drew 0-0.
GERMANY: Kovac's Bayern routs Frankfurt 5-0 in German curtain raiser
FRANKFURT, Germany — Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick as Bayern Munich won the German Super Cup on Sunday with a 5-0 rout of Eintracht Frankfurt in an impressive start for new coach Niko Kovac.
The Poland striker, who had a disappointing World Cup, effectively ended the game against Kovac's former team with two goals in five minutes midway through the first half. Lewandowski completed his hat trick early in the second, before substitute Kingsley Coman claimed the fourth and set up Thiago Alcantara for the fifth.
Kovac was back at the club he saved from relegation after taking over in 2016 and led to successive German Cup finals. He won the cup at the second attempt in his final game at Frankfurt in May to deny his future club Bayern the double.
Frankfurt fans gave the 46-year-old Kovac a respectful reception on his return.
FRANCE: Neymar scores early goal as Paris-Saint Germain starts season with 3-0 win
PARIS — Neymar took just 10 minutes to score defending champion Paris Saint-Germain's first goal of the season, and teen striker Timothy Weah netted the first of his French league career, in a 3-0 home win against Caen on Sunday.
On the same pitch where he broke his foot against Marseille six months ago, Neymar ran onto a pass from midfielder Christopher Nkunku and coolly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Brice Samba and into the bottom left corner.
Samba was at fault for the goal after botching a clearance and instead passing straight to Nkunku.
The visitors almost equalized moments later but veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made a smart stop from striker Malik Tchokounte's volley.
But after another mistake, when Caen lost the ball in midfield, winger Angel Di Maria broke down the right and set up midfielder Adrien Rabiot for a tap-in in the 35th.
Buffon saved again, this time near halftime, and smiled after preventing a headed own-goal from PSG captain Thiago Silva.
It was a comfortable first league game in charge for PSG coach Thomas Tuchel — who replaced Unai Emery — and he chose to rest several players. They included forward Kylian Mbappe, who helped France win the World Cup, and Belgium right back Thomas Meunier.
Tuchel picked three 19-year-olds in his side, underlining his reputation from his time as a coach in Germany , where he fast-tracked players from the youth academy at Mainz.
Neymar, making his first appearance since Brazil's World Cup quarterfinal defeat to Belgium, had a quiet game after his goal and was replaced 10 minutes from time by the 18-year-old Weah.
Samba made another glaring mistake near the end, gifting another goal after failing to properly clear a back pass. Weah, who is the son of Liberia President and former PSG striker George Weah, gleefully stroked the ball home.
Monaco, Lyon and Marseille also clinched victories — meaning the top four from last season all won their opening games — and Marseille leads on goal difference from PSG after beating Toulouse 4-0 on Friday.
Memphis Depay expertly curled in a free kick as Lyon beat Amiens 2-0 at home.
With 15 minutes remaining, the Netherlands forward whipped the ball from the left into the top right corner to seal a comfortable victory after winger Bertrand Traore scored with a neat run and finish in the 24th minute.
Depay scored 19 league goals last season, finishing it strongly to put himself in the frame for a move to a bigger club. The former Manchester United player recently said that, although he feels happy at Lyon, he is open to a move before the summer transfer window closes at the end of August.
Also Sunday, Strasbourg won 2-0 at Bordeaux.
Strasbourg played most of the game with an extra player after Brazilian defender Pablo was sent off in the 13th minute for pulling back forward Ludovic Ajorque as he ran through on goal.
The Alsace side made the pressure count in the 68th through a goal from midfielder Ibrahima Sissoko, and striker Nuno Da Costa struck 10 minutes later.
ITALY: Ronaldo makes Juventus fans wait only 8 minutes for 1st goal
VILLAR PEROSA, Italy — Cristiano Ronaldo made Juventus fans wait only eight minutes before scoring his first goal for the club in a traditional pre-season friendly against the team's "B'' side on Sunday.
Ronaldo finished with his usual confidence and poise after latching onto a looping pass over the midfield from attacking midfelder Federico Bernardeschi. Ronaldo took one touch to cushion the ball and then casually thumped it into the left corner. Ten minutes later, he pressured Riccardo Capellini into an own-goal to make it 2-0 to the Bianconero, the name given to Juventus because of its famed white-and-black jersey.
Juventus fans gathering to watch the five-time Ballon d'Or winner at Villar Perosa — in a rural area of Piedmont in northern Italy — held up banners. One said "Welcome Ronaldo" and another had his face on it and simply read CR7, in reference to the jersey number Ronaldo made famous as a Real Madrid player.
Ronaldo stunned Madrid fans last month when he joined Juventus for an Italian league record sum of 112 million euros (now $128 million). The 33-year-old Portugal international will likely make his proper debut in Juve's first league match of the season at Chievo Verona next Saturday.
He moved from Manchester United to Madrid in 2009, and became the Spanish club's all-time leading scorer with 451 goals in 438 matches. He helped Madrid win four Champions Leagues titles — beating Juventus in the final in 2017 — and also won La Liga and the Copa del Rey twice.
Ronaldo, who led Portugal to the European Championship in 2016, also won the Champions League at Manchester United as well as three Premier League titles and the FA Cup with the Red Devils.
Juventus has won the last seven league titles but has fallen just short in Europe, also losing the Champions League final in 2015 to Barcelona.
The storied Italian club hopes signing Ronaldo will help it add to the European Cups it won in 1985 and '96. Juventus has lost five finals since its last European Cup success.