ENGLAND: Watford draws with Arsenal on Flores return, Everton loses
LONDON — After spells in charge of Espanyol in Spain and Shanghai Shenhua in China, Quique Sánchez Flores returned to the thrills and spills of the Premier League on Sunday as his Watford side drew with Arsenal 2-2.
Flores, who left Watford in 2016 but returned to take over from the fired Javi Gracia, began his second reign as manager by leading the last-place team to just its second point from five games.
But it could have been even more. The Spaniard was left holding his head as Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno denied Abdoulaye Doucouré what would have been a dramatic winner in injury time.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice for Arsenal but the visitors had no answer to Watford in the second half and will be relieved to have escaped with a point.
Aubameyang scored against the run of play in the 21st minute after Dani Ceballos won the ball with a crunching tackle on Will Hughes. Sead Kolasinac ran forward and passed to Aubameyang, who stopped the ball with his left boot and spun around to fire it in with his right.
It was almost 2-0 minutes later after Ceballos found Mesut Özil, whose cross Aubameyang just failed to reach. Özil was making his first league appearance of the season.
Özil showed just what Arsenal had been missing in the 32nd when he split the Watford defense with a brilliant ball to send Ainsley Maitland-Niles though. The Arsenal right-back crossed to give Aubameyang a simple finish for his second goal, his fifth of the season.
But Arsenal was lackluster after the break and gifted Watford a goal back in the 53rd, when Leno passed to Sokratis, who attempted a straight ball forward to Guendouzi. Gerard Deulofeu intercepted the ball, which fell to Tom Cleverley to hammer back past Leno for 2-1.
The visitors continued to wobble as Watford continued to dominate. David Luiz fouled Roberto Pereyra just inside the penalty area and the Argentine midfielder dusted himself off to equalize from the spot in the 81st.
CHERRIES BEAT TOFFEES
In Sunday's other game, Callum Wilson scored twice to help Bournemouth beat Everton 3-1 for the Cherries' second Premier League win.
Wilson put the home side ahead after a corner in the 23rd minute. Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalized before the break, but poor defending thwarted the Toffees' hopes of a point.
Substitute Ryan Fraser restored Bournemouth's lead in the 67th with a free kick and Wilson claimed his second goal five minutes later.
Bournemouth and Everton both have seven points.
GERMANY: Schalke recovery continues under David Wagner
BERLIN — Schalke's recovery under new coach David Wagner continued Sunday as the team fought back to rout promoted Paderborn 5-1 in the Bundesliga.
Paderborn, back in Germany's top flight after a rollercoaster ride through divisions two and three following its relegation in 2015, is still waiting for its first win since earning promotion as second-division runner-up. Steffen Baumgart's side has only one point from its opening four games.
Schalke, on the other hand, is showing signs of life under former United States international Wagner, who was appointed in the offseason to revitalize a demoralized team that flirted with relegation last season.
Amine Harit scored twice as Schalke claimed its second consecutive win.
Paderborn got off to a good start as Oliveira Souza celebrated his 24th birthday with the opening goal in the eighth minute, but it was as good as it got for the home side.
Guido Burgstaller should have equalized before Salif Sané pulled one back in the 33rd. The visitors did not look back after Suat Serdar scored early in the second half, with Harit grabbing two goals either side of Ahmed Kutucu claiming his first of the season.
Earlier, Freiburg won 3-0 at Hoffenheim to move third after four games.
Unbeaten Leipzig still leads after a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich on Saturday, while Borussia Dortmund is second after a 4-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
-- By Ciaran Fahey, AP
ITALY: Fighting leukemia, Mihajlovic inspires Bologna to 2nd place
ROME — Sinisa Mihajlovic's fight against leukemia continues to inspire Bologna, which has surprisingly surged into second place three rounds into Serie A.
The coach was absent from a 4-3 comeback win over 10-man Brescia on Sunday but his halftime speech via telephone from the hospital where he is undergoing chemotherapy made a resounding impact.
"We're playing like this thanks to his mentality. At the end of the first half he transmitted his anger to us," Bologna forward Rodrigo Palacio said. "In the second half we came out with the necessary desire and a great mentality."
When Bologna arrived back home hours after the match, the team bus stopped at the Sant'Orsola hospital where Mihajlovic is being treated and the players chanted their coach's name until he popped his head outside his window and waved to them.
Brescia led 3-1 at the break with a brace from Alfredo Donnarumma but Daniela Dessena was sent off after a dive early in the second half. Palacio then started the comeback, which was followed by an own-goal from Brescia's Stefano Sabelli and the winner from Riccardo Orsolini.
Mattia Bani scored Bologna's opening goal and Andrea Cistana scored Brescia's third.
It's the first time Bologna has gained seven points from its opening three matches in 17 years.
Bologna is two points behind perfect Inter Milan and ahead of eight-time defending champion Juventus on goals scored (six to five).
Torino can extend its perfect start against promoted Lecce on Monday.
In the previous round, Bologna beat Spal 1-0 with an injury-time goal from Roberto Soriano.
Mihajlovic surprised his squad by traveling with his hospital band still on to the season-opener at Hellas Verona, which ended 1-1.
Mihajlovic was rehired by Bologna in January to replace Filippo Inzaghi and engineered a complete turnaround for a team that was fighting off relegation, leading the club to a 10th place finish.
When Mihajlovic announced in July that he had an acute form of leukemia, the club said it would still keep him in charge.
Brescia is still without Mario Balotelli, who is serving a four-match ban from last season in the French league.
Roma earned its first win under new coach Paulo Fonseca with a four-goal outburst in the first half of a 4-2 victory over Sassuolo.
Bryan Cristante, Edin Dzeko, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Justin Kluivert each scored before halftime with a trio of assists from Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Domenico Berardi then pulled two back for Sassuolo after the break.
Mkhitaryan scored on debut after being loaned from Arsenal with his first shot on goal, an accurate angled drive.
AC MILAN STRUGGLES
AC Milan required a second-half penalty from Krzysztof Piatek to overcome 10-man Hellas Verona 1-0.
The Rossoneri produced only one shot on goal in the first half despite a straight red card to Verona's Mariusz Stepinski in the 21st.
Milan earned a penalty midway through the second half when Koray Gunter blocked a shot from Hakan Calhanoglu with his arm.
Earlier, Milan fullback Davide Calabria hit the post.
Piatek had a potential second goal disallowed by VAR for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Calabria was sent off for clotheslining a defender in the last minute of stoppage time, setting up a dangerous free kick from Verona but Miguel Veloso's effort hit Milan's wall and Darko Lazovic's powerful attempt at the rebound went just wide.
Atalanta warmed up for its Champions League debut with a last-ditch 2-1 win at Genoa courtesy of Duvan Zapata's strike five minutes into stoppage time. Having finished a club-record third last season, Atalanta opens the elite European competition at Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.
An injury-time winner from Jasmin Kurtic helped Spal to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over visiting Lazio.
Also, defender Luca Ceppitelli scored twice for Cagliari in a 3-1 victory at Parma.
-- By Andrew Dampf, AP
SPAIN: Sevilla takes lead of Spanish league with 1-0 win at Alavés
BARCELONA, Spain — A brilliant free kick by Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordán earned a 1-0 victory at Alavés and lifted his team to the top of the Spanish league on Sunday.
Jordán struck a dipping free kick over the defensive wall that goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco could only watch land in his net in the 38th minute.
The win at Alavés moved Sevilla into first place. Atlético Madrid is one point behind, followed by Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao two points back. Defending champion Barcelona and Real Sociedad are three points off the pace.
"The free kick was in a perfect spot," Jordán said. "Being in the lead at this point is not important. It's winning all three of our road games so far. That's very difficult. It is thanks to the hard work of all the team."
Sevilla didn't threaten Alavés again and heavy rain affected the match which ended with a small scuffle that earned bookings for a pair of players on each team.
Mexico striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernández made his debut for Sevilla as a late substitute.
Jordán, who joined Sevilla from Eibar, also scored in a 1-0 win at Granada in round two.
Coach Julen Lopetegui, who was fired by both Spain's national team and Real Madrid during a turbulent 2018, has made an impressive start in Seville. Sevilla is undefeated in four rounds after also winning at Espanyol and drawing with Celta Vigo.
Lopetegui has based his immediate success on forging a defense that has conceded one goal in four matches.
Sevilla hosts Madrid next weekend.
400 AND COUNTING
Joaquín Sánchez converted a late penalty in his 400th appearance for Real Betis to salvage a 1-1 draw at home with Getafe.
Betis played for more than an hour with 10 men after William Carvalho received a red card for tripping a Getafe player with only the goalkeeper to beat. It also lost Loren Morón in the final seconds to another direct red for elbowing an opponent in the head while fighting for a ball.
"It's always important to score, especially when you are playing with a man down. I am just happy to keep helping the team," the 38-year-old Joaquín said.
Celta Vigo played an hour of its 2-0 loss to Granada with only nine men.
Jorge Sáenz saw a direct red for a foul on Roberto Soldado in the 10th, and Fran Beltrán got a second yellow card before half an hour was up for two rash tackles.
Espanyol scored its first goals of the season and got its first win after fighting back for a 2-1 victory at Eibar.
Facundo Ferreyra and Esteban Granero scored in the final 15 minutes to pull off the comeback.
Osasuna drew 1-1 at Valladolid.
-- By Joseph Wilson, AP
FRANCE: Marseille beats Monaco 4-3, new signing Benedetto scores 2
PARIS — New signing Dario Benedetto scored twice as Marseille rallied from 2-0 down to win 4-3 away to struggling Monaco and take fourth place in the French league on Sunday.
Monaco led 2-0 inside 30 minutes thanks to two goals from France forward Wissam Ben Yedder, the first from the penalty spot and the second set up by strike partner Islam Slimani. Both have done well up front for Monaco since joining in the offseason.
But their attacking strength is undermined by Monaco's poor defense , which has allowed 14 goals in five games so far — when no other team in the French league has conceded more than nine.
Valère Germain flicked on a cross from the right and strike partner Benedetto slotted home in the 39th. Three minutes later Benedetto headed against the crossbar from only two meters out, but almost immediately the Argentine was joining the celebrations as Germain nodded in at the back post to make it 2-2.
After that, Marseille took charge.
Veteran attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet controlled a long pass before drifting past two players and unleashing a fierce drive into the bottom right corner from 20 meters out in the 61st. It was the type of goal he scored leading up to — and during — the 2016 European Championship.
Six minutes after Payet's arrow-like strike, Benedetto made it four goals since joining from Boca Juniors, curling a shot inside the left post after latching onto left back Jordan Amavi's pinpoint pass.
But Marseille's defense is also far from solid.
Monaco substitute Keita Baldé pulled a goal back in the 75th and Slimani forced Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda into a smart save moments later.
Marseille is level on points with third-place Nantes, which leads on goal difference.
Monaco remains without a win and in 19th place as the pressure increases on coach Leonardo Jardim.
He was fired last season to make way for Thierry Henry, and then re-hired when Henry was fired in a turbulent season which saw Monaco narrowly avoiding relegation.
Things do not appear to have changed, with Monaco picking up only two points from five games.
Mali striker Kalifa Coulibaly settled a tight match with the only goal as Nantes beat Reims 1-0.
Coulibaly advanced into the penalty area and scored with a low shot in the 69th minute.
Elsewhere, winger Romain Hamouma showed his scoring touch with both goals as Saint-Étienne rallied from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Toulouse.
The visiting side led 2-0 after 25 minutes with goals from forwards Max-Alain Gradel and Aaron Leya Iseka.
Toulouse is in 10th place and Saint-Étienne is 15th.
League leader Paris Saint-Germain won 1-0 at home to Strasbourg on Saturday with a spectacular injury-time winner from Neymar, who was jeered and whistled by PSG's ultras in the crowd after trying to force a move back to Barcelona during the offseason.
-- By Jerome Pugmire, AP