ROME (AP) — Luca Toni scored twice and Hellas Verona beat AC Milan 2-1 Saturday to celebrate its return to Serie A after an 11-year absence as the Italian league opened with a major upset.
Two-time champion Juventus avoided a similar surprise as it kicked off its bid for a third consecutive title with a 1-0 win over Sampdoria after new striker Carlos Tevez scored in the 58th minute.
After Andrea Poli put Milan ahead in the 14th minute following a pass from Mario Balotelli, the 6-foot-5 Toni struck back with headers in the 30th and 53rd.
"There's no better way to start the season," Verona midfielder Massimo Donati said.
It was a disturbing result for Milan ahead of Wednesday's return-leg match with PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League qualifying playoffs. Milan also gave up a lead in the opening leg, drawing 1-1.
Last season, Milan never lost in Serie A after establishing a lead, winning 21 matches and drawing four.
"The explanation is simple: we played bad football and we played poorly as a squad," Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "We needed to control the ball better. We played poorly and they deserved the victory."
Juventus didn't quite dominate like in its 4-0 rout of Lazio in last weekend's Super Cup but Antonio Conte's men showed the same poise and discipline of the past two seasons.
Tevez, Juve's big offseason acquisition from Manchester City, only had to tap in after taking a pass from Paul Pogba at the edge of the box on a rainy night at the Juventus Stadium.
The other eight matches of the opening weekend will be played Sunday, with last year's runner-up Napoli hosting Bologna and Inter Milan facing Genoa at the San Siro. Also, Lazio opens against Udinese with one end of its stadium closed as punishment for fan racism in last weekend's Super Cup loss.
BERLIN (AP) — Defending champion Bayern Munich ground out a hard-fought 2-0 win over Nuremberg to maintain its winning start to the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Franck Ribery met Philipp Lahm's cross with a fine header to break the deadlock in the 69th, and Arjen Robben sealed the result when he eluded three defenders and scored through the goalkeeper's legs in the 78th.
Bayern toiled to break down the Nuremberg defense, however, in what was the 187th derby between the sides.
"Nine points from three games. Everything's wonderful," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
Schalke's poor season start continued with a 2-1 loss at Hannover, where the visitors finished with nine players and the hosts 10.
Bayer Leverkusen beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-2 to win eight Bundesliga games in a row for the first time. Freiburg drew 3-3 at Hoffenheim, where three players and the Freiburg coach were sent off.
Wolfsburg midfielder Luiz Gustavo was sent off in a 2-0 defeat at Mainz, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Nicolai Mueller scoring for the home side.
LONDON (AP) — Liverpool maintained its perfect start to the Premier League season as Daniel Sturridge scored a superb goal to give the Reds a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on Saturday and Arsenal brushed off talk of crisis with a 3-1 win at London rivals Fulham.
Sturridge showed his technical finesse in the 21st minute after Philippe Coutinho let Jose Enrique's low cross run past him to the England striker, who skipped around two Villa defenders and goalkeeper Brad Guzan before poking the ball into the roof of the net with the outside of his left foot.
Sturridge's eighth goal in his last seven Premier League appearances gave Brendan Rodgers' team a second consecutive 1-0 to opened the campaign. Liverpool hosts bitter rival and defending champion Manchester United next weekend.
Liverpool weathered the home side's attacks in the second half and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet made sure the team returned to Merseyside with three points by denying Christian Benteke's shot from the right side of the box with a great save in the 86th minute.
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