Manchester City started their Premier League title defence with a win while Barcelona got off to a flying start in La Liga where champions Real Madrid had to settle for a draw.
Big-spending Paris St Germain had forward Ezequiel Lavezzi sent off as they were held at Ajaccio while FC Twente set the pace in the Dutch League with a second straight win.
Champions Manchester City started where they left off in May with a dramatic 3-2 win over promoted Southampton, a near carbon copy of their comeback victory over Queens Park Rangers which sealed the title three months ago.
Carlos Tevez opened the scoring but Ricky Lambert and Steven Davis stunned the hosts before Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri secured a win only marred by a knee injury to Sergio Aguero.
Eden Hazard set up both goals on his Premier League debut as Chelsea won 2-0 at Wigan Athletic but Brendan Rodgers bow as Liverpool boss ended in a 3-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion.
Arsenal got used to life without striker Robin van Persie in a 0-0 draw with Sunderland. Van Persie will make his Manchester United debut at Everton on Monday.
Barcelona routed Real Sociedad 5-1 at home to make a flying start to their La Liga campaign taking full advantage of champions Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Valencia at the Bernabeu.
Spain striker David Villa crowned his return from an eight-month injury layoff to score the fifth goal after Lionel Messi, with a double, Carles Puyol and Pedro gave them a 4-1 halftime lead on Tito Vilanova’s league debut as coach.
Real had the perfect start when Gonzalo Higuain netted after only 10 minutes but Valencia, having barely threatened, levelled with a Jonas header from a free kick before the break.
Real dominated but Valencia keeper Diego Alves blocked everything thrown at him in the second half.
Title favourites Paris St Germain continued their shaky start to the Ligue 1 season when they were held to a 0-0 draw at AC Ajaccio and had forward Ezequiel Lavezzi sent off.
The floodlights in Corsica failed for several minutes in stoppage time before being fixed.
Olympique Lyon, Olympique Marseille and Girondins Bordeaux all made it two wins from two but champions Montpellier were beaten 2-1 by Lorient, Alain Traore and Jeremie Aliadiere scoring late on for the victors.
Lille, the 2011 champions, drew 1-1 with AS Nancy.
Steve McClaren’s Twente Enschede are top with a maximum six points after two matches as Leroy Fer sealed a 1-0 win at NAC Breda.
Ajax Amsterdam cruised to a 6-1 win at NEC Nijmegen to move into second spot with four points joined by AZ Alkmaar who beat Heracles Almelo 3-1.
Dutch international Joris Mathijsen was shown a straight red card on his debut for Feyenoord in a 1-1 draw against Heerenveen.
Champions Porto and title hopefuls Benfica and Sporting endured disappointing starts to the new campaign with all three having to settle for draws in the opening round of matches.
Porto were kept at bay by hosts Gil Vicente while Sporting failed to overcome Vitoria Guimaraes away with both title rivals teams struggling in attack.
Benfica were held to a 2-2 draw by Braga, in a nightmare debut for Paraguayan defender Lorenzo Melgarejo who scored an own goal and then gave the ball away cheaply for the second.
Bundesliga teams Werder Bremen, Hamburg SV, Nuremberg and Eintracht Frankfurt were all knocked out of the German Cup in the first round on Sunday.
Bremen lost 4-2 to Preussen Munster and Hamburg succumbed to the same scoreline away to Karlsruhe.
Nuremberg, German Cup winners in 2007, were beaten 3-2 by a stubborn Havelse side while promoted Frankfurt lost 3-0 at second division Erzgebirge Aue.
Bundesliga side Hoffenheim were the giant-killing victims on Saturday when they lost 4-0 at fourth division Berliner AK 07.