Let’s start in London, where less than 12 hours before the Olympic Games were officially closed the 2012-13 English football season was officially opened with the annual Community Shield match at Wembley.
Community Shield: FA Cup holders Chelsea were 1-0 up on Manchester City when Branislav Ivanovic was sent off three minutes before the break. Goals 12 minutes apart from Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri turned the deficit into a 3-1 lead for the Premier League champions shortly after the hour-mark, but Ryan Bertrand pulled the Blues to within a goal in the 80th minute.
Manchester City: Tevez and fellow Argentina international Sergio Aguero started up front for City, so expect manager Roberto Mancini to begin the season with the pair—who were so dynamic late last season—leading the line.
Mancini added former Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell to the ranks on Tuesday—a move that likely paves the way for Nigel de Jong’s exit. Say what you will about City’s spending, but more often than not the players Mancini has brought in have been worth the outlay.
Chelsea: Eden Hazard made his competitive debut for one of Europe’s highest-spending clubs this summer, starting the Community Shield match with Juan Mata in support of Fernando Torres. Lucas Piazon was an unused substitute and Brazil playmaker Oscar is yet to join up with his new teammates.
Just how Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo manages his young, creative players will be one of the more compelling storylines to watch in the Premier League this season.
DFL-Supercup: Bayern Munich won Germany’s curtain-raiser against two-time defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. Bayern, who beat Dortmund in last spring’s DFB-Pokal final, raced out to a two-goal lead after just 11 minutes thanks to Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller, and Robert Lewandowski scored Dortmund’s only goal of the match in the 75th minute.
Bayern Munich: Mandzukic, one of the stars of Euro 2012 (he scored three goals for Croatia, started as the lone striker for Bayern with Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben in support. Zherdan Shaqiri, who arrived from Basel over the summer, replaced Roben in the 86th minute. Look for the two to battle for minutes on the right wing this season.
Central defender Dante and left-back Emre Can also took their competitive bows for Bayern. Dante arrives at the Bavarian giants via Borussia Monchengladbach while Can has come up through the ranks at the club.
Borussia Dortmund: Manager Jurgen Klopp started a mostly full-strength side on Sunday. Nineteen-year-old Moritz Leitner started in central midfield alongside Ilkay Gundogan while Marco Reus played just in behind Lewandowski.
Reus, a versatile forward purchased from Monchengladbach, essentially operated in the old Shinji Kagawa role against Bayern. Mario Gotze, who spent much of last season on the therapist’s table, came on in the 64th minute.
Supercoppa Italiana: Juventus won their first Supercoppa since 2003 when they defeated Coppa Italia holders Napoli 4-2 in extra time in Beijing on Saturday. Kwadwo Asamoah, who joined the Scudetto holders from Udinese this summer, cancelled Edinson Cavani’s opener in the 37th minute, but Goran Pandev restored Napoli’s lead just four minutes prior to the break.
From there things went pear-shaped for Napoli, who finished a scoreless second half with nine men following the ejections of Pandev and Juan Zuniga. A Christian Maggio own goal in extra time proved the winner, and Mirko Vucinic sealed the result in the 101st minute. Napoli refused to participate in the post-match ceremony out of protest against the referee’s decisions.
Juventus: Massimo Carrera was in charge of Juventus on Saturday, as he will be all season given manager Antonio Conte’s 10-match ban. Carrera preserved Conte’s three-man defensive system, however, and handed a competitive debut to Brazilian defender Lucio.
Napoli: Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri, who was, himself, sent off in the third minute of second-half stoppage time, also started three at the back while summer signings Zuniga (left wing-back) and Valon Behrami (central midfield) played from the start for their new club.
Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain were held to a draw in their first match of the season while Lyon, Lille and Marseille opened with important wins.
PSG: They trailed 2-0 to visiting Lorient at the half but earned a last-gasp draw thanks to a pair of Zlatan Ibrahimovic goals, the second of which came from the spot in the 90th minute.
Jeremy Menez, Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi started across the forward line for manager Carlo Ancelotti while fellow forwards Nene and Kevin Gameiro began the match on the bench. Look for at least one of the two to be moved out of the club before the end of the month.
Lyon: Les Gones got off to a good start with a 1-0 win at competitive Rennes. Yoann Gourcuff scored the only goal of the contest in the 16th minute and the hosts were reduced to 10 men when forward Jires Ekoko was issued his marching orders on the half-hour.
Lyon manager Remi Garde opted to deploy a young central midfield tandem from the start. Maximi Gonalons, 23, and Gueida Fofana, 20, each played the entire 90 minutes while up-and-coming forward Alexandre Lacazette put in a 72-minute shift on the left wing.
Lille: A 90th-minute winner from Benoit Pedretti ensured 2010-11 Ligue 1 champions Lille took all three points from Saint-Etienne on Saturday. Aurelien Chedjou opened the scoring for the guests just shy of the hour-mark and Romain Hamouma’s equaliser in the 74th minute looked until late on to have given the hosts a draw.
Marvin Martin, who inherited Eden Hazard’s number-10 shirt when he arrived at Lille this summer, played the full 90 minutes in his competitive debut for the club. Right-back Mathieu Debuchy, a transfer target of Newcastle, was substituted in the 81st minute.
Saint-Etienne announced on Monday that they have agreed terms with former Marseille striker Brandao.
Marseille: Benoit Cheyrou’s superb volley in the 77th minute was all Marseille needed to earn a 1-0 win at Stade Reims on Sunday. The victory is the first at the club for manager Elie Baup, who, after replacing new France manager Didier Deschamps, was in charge of his first match since 2009 when he was manager of Nantes.
Follow Jerrad Peters on Twitter @peterssoccer