Manchester United and Chelsea make bizarre table-toppers after pretty unconvincing campaigns against poor opposition, while Manuel Pellegrini was a silly boy...
On a weekend when just about everybody else around them dropped points, why should Liverpool's title hopes be dismissed? David Moyes is a loser, of course...
"He had an amazing first half. He had individual skill, team play, finishing and the final ball. You just sit there and enjoy it. I loved him when he was at Real Madrid ... we're just lucky to have got him."
Arsene Wenger wasn't the only person wowed by Mesut Ozil's first-half performance against Napoli, as the German opened his Arsenal account with a superb side-footed finish and then assisted Olivier Giroud for the Gunners' second. As Wenger said after the 2-0 victory, Ozil "delivered everything you want to see from a great player", and, according to Opta, the 24-year-old has now made more assists (15) than any other player in the Champions League since August 2010.
While Ozil continues to embarrass Florentino Perez - the Real Madrid president who claimed the playmaker 'could not stand the pressure' at the Santiago Bernabeu - Arsenal are also growing stronger in defence, keeping their first clean sheet in six matches on Tuesday. The return of Mikel Arteta alongside Mathieu Flamini at the base of midfield helped to snuff out Napoli's rare attacking threat and Wenger praised the duo in his post-match interview.
"We were solid," said the manager. "Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta contributed to that, and overall it was positive because I wanted Flamini to be very good on the counter-attack, especially with Aaron Ramsey, and that worked very well."
As I wrote here, the drip-drip effect of players such as Arteta, Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski returning to first-team action should help Arsenal maintain their momentum. Any team that can afford to leave a player as talented as Jack Wilshere on the bench for a crucial Champions League clash clearly has options and, other than the centre-forward role, fears over a lack of depth are beginning to dissipate.
Wenger's comments on his team's counter-attacking capabilities are also interesting, as Arsenal continue to adapt their style to suit Ozil and Aaron Ramsey's strengths and rediscover their drive through midfield.
It is interesting to note that Arsenal have averaged 53.7% possession in their first six Premier League matches so far - putting them eighth out of all the teams in the top flight - compared to season averages of 58.2% in 2012/13, 60.2% in 2011/12 and 60.3% in 2010/11. The Gunners topped the charts in each of those three campaigns, but Wenger is seemingly prepared to eschew such thorough domination of the ball in favour of hitting opponents on the break with players who can open up defences with guile (Ozil), strength (Giroud) and drive (Ramsey).
One wonders if Wenger's renewed focus on counter-attacking has been influenced by Arsenal's Group F rivals Borussia Dortmund, of whom the manager wrote on Eurosport before last season's Champions League final: 'On the other hand you have Borussia Dortmund, with a fast and technical counter-attacking style. They play a vertical game with enthusiasm, unpredictability and a carefree attitude. They are a hard team to play and they can definitely create a surprise.'
Arsenal's element of surprise has certainly been aided by Ozil's arrival and Ramsey's rapid improvement, and with Premier League matches against West Brom, Norwich and Crystal Palace in October, few would argue against the Gunners maintaining their impressive form.
'Das ist warum wir Sieger sind, das ist warum wir Sieger sind,' was presumably the chant from the Bayern end on Wednesday after the reigning champions comprehensively outclassed Man City.
Bayern succeeded where Borussia Dortmund failed at the Etihad, making their dominance pay and profiting from Joe Hart's Joe Hart moments. The keeper has fallen a long way from his superb showing in City's 1-1 draw with Dortmund in last season's group stage, and German newspaper Bild claimed the 26-year-old 'only did what English goalkeepers are renowned for' with his two errors.
But less of Hart and more of Bayern, who were in stunning form against City and have now settled following initial concerns over Pep Guardiola's methods.
'Five weeks into his new job in Bavaria, the public perception of him has shifted,' wrote Raphael Honigstein in the Guardian on August 3.
'The early fawning of club officials, players and the media over the Bundesliga's most high-profile recruit has noticeably given way to more scepticism. The opening salvo in this backlash was fired in a strong-worded op-ed piece by the broadsheet Süddeutsche Zeitung that criticised the "shameless financial sleaze" of Guardiola's €21m signing of the Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcântara - the 22-year-old is represented by the manager's brother, Pere - and his "public account settling" with his former club over the alleged breakdown in his relationship with Tito Vilanova: "It doesn't fit the image of the noble sideline gentleman that many sports media are enthusiastically painting."
'More importantly, Guardiola's obsessive attention to detail in training - "I've never had a manager who changed so many things," said striker Claudio Pizarro, 34 - and experimental lineups that have verged on the capricious, with right-back Philipp Lahm being drafted into central midfield and target man Mario Mandzukic toiling fruitlessly on either wing, have only succeeded in upsetting the ultra-smooth running of last year's win machine.'
It seems that the German media know how to panic as well as their English counterparts, with fears over Bayern's transition to Guardiola's style evaporating following six wins out of seven in the Bundesliga (scoring 14 and conceding only two) and two routine victories in the Champions League.
The decision to move Lahm into midfield for three Bundesliga matches and both European fixtures thus far has been particularly inspired in the absence of injured duo Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez. Lahm's deployment in a central role against City was anything but 'capricious', with the Germany captain helping to impede Yaya Toure and Fernandinho's influence as Bayern imposed themselves.
Of course, Guardiola still faces a difficult task to follow Jupp Heynckes - who oversaw the first treble for a German team last year - with the Spaniard's arrival somewhat reminiscent of Brian Clough replacing Don Revie at Leeds, except without the added animosity.
While it wasn't an instruction for Bayern's players to throw all their trophies in the bin, Guardiola's claim that "I want to help my players play the best football as possible, and to play in the best way too", is similar to Clough's TV riposte to Revie's criticism when he told his predecessor that he "wanted to do something you hadn't done...I wanted to win the league, but I wanted to win it better".
"I want people to enjoy the way we play. I want us to win in the right way," said Guardiola at the start of this week, and Wednesday's win over City certainly proved that his message is being received.
Although Benfica have endured a mixed start to the new season - with the added distraction of coach Jorge Jesus being investigated by police for allegedly helping a fan avoid arrest in a recent league match - that should not steal any of PSG's praise for a brilliant opening half-hour at the Parc des Princes.
The hosts surged into a 3-0 lead thanks to a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marquinhos' second goal in two Champions League matches, with the first two strikes coming as the result of wonderful flowing moves.
Only Bayern Munich and Real Madrid scored more goals than the Ligue 1 champions in the group stage last year and, with seven strikes in the first two fixtures of this year's tournament, PSG are once again a force to be reckoned with.
Even without the suspended Diego Costa - who has scored eight in seven in La Liga this season, including the winner in the Madrid derby - Atleti fought back from a goal down to win 2-1 away to Porto and boost their chances of topping Group G. Gabi deserves particular praise for his two assists, with the captain's clever free-kick setting up Arda Turan to steal the three points in the 86th minute and inflict a first defeat of the season on Porto.
Back to winning ways with a ruthless demolition of Marseille and some sumptuous flowing football. Counter-attacking fans must be nursing chubbies over Dortmund's trip to the Emirates in three weeks' time.
Angel Di Maria
Two goals and a rabona assist to upstage even Cristiano Ronaldo.
Jose Mourinho received the reaction he wanted from his players following the defeat to Basel with a comprehensive 4-0 win away to Steaua Bucharest.
"I think we are going to qualify," said Mourinho in his post-match interview. "From the first minute it was very good. From the first minute we kept control of the game. We played good football with intelligence and maturity."
Steaua right-back Daniel Georgievski certainly deserves a share of the credit for the Blues' victory owing to his own goal in a thoroughly shambolic display, but Chelsea were also mightily impressive in a match they needed to win for a number of reasons.
Juan Mata returned to run the show in the final third, creating six chances for his teammates, while Andre Schurrle was a nuisance throughout on the left, repeatedly stretching the hapless Georgievski.
The key to Chelsea's victory, however, (apart from Steaua simply not being very good), was the combination of Ramires and Frank Lampard in central midfield, with the duo contributing three of the team's four goals and controlling the tempo of the game.
Chelsea gained the ascendancy against Spurs on Sunday after Mourinho switched to Ramires and Lampard in midfield at half-time, and that telling tweak brought another improved display on Tuesday. The Blues are still short of compelling options in the middle having failed to strengthen the position in the summer, but it seems the manager may at least have settled on his first-choice partnership to see him through to the January window.
A stunning strike to earn a 1-0 victory over Basel and put Schalke in pole position above Chelsea in Group E.
While Shakhtar have been weakened by the sales of Willian, Fernandinho and Henrikh Mkhitaryan over the past nine months, the Ukrainian champions still possess an enormous amount of quality as demonstrated by a dominant second half on Wednesday.
Make no mistake, this was a good result for Manchester United against their leading rivals for top spot in Group A, even if the champions' performance left much to be desired.
David Moyes was left to rue Nemanja Vidic's error that cost the manager a precious victory in his hour of need, but on reflection he will view the trip to Ukraine as an important learning experience and a valuable point on the road to the knock-out stage.
It isn't Moyes' fault that United saw fit to replace Sir Alex Ferguson with a manager who has no previous Champions League experience, but those 'very similar situations' at Everton and Preston appear to have stood the new man in good stead.
Indeed, a rampant victory over Bayer Leverkusen and a hard-fought draw in Donetsk represent a solid start in United's Group A challenge, especially when you consider that last year's title-winning side laboured to a 1-0 win over Galatasaray and a 2-1 victory in Cluj in their first two matches. There are plenty of sticks with which to beat Moyes, but United's results in the Champions League are not one of them.
The performance against Shakhtar can be questioned, of course, with the champions mustering just one shot on target (four in total) and ceding the majority of possession to the hosts. There wasn't necessarily a lack of intent, more a lack of ideas in Wayne Rooney's absence, but had Ferguson overseen Wednesday's display there would barely have been a raised eyebrow.
"On paper this looked a hard away tie and we have picked up a good point," said Moyes after the match.
It is a fair assessment, but the manager should be worried that even though United started with three central midfielders - Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Marouane Fellaini (more on him later) - they recorded their joint-lowest pass completion rate of the season (82%).
"We said at half-time we needed to keep the ball better, but we actually gave it away more in the second half, so I was disappointed we didn't pass it better," said Moyes.
Ensuring that his instructions are more readily enacted will be key to United coming through their shaky start to the season.
As much as City can only hold their hands up and admit that they were completely outclassed by Bayern, the individual errors that led to the visitors' goals were unforgivable.
Joe Hart will once again be on the receiving end of deserved criticism for twice being beaten at his near post, but Gael Clichy is equally worthy of rebuke after switching off to allow Thomas Muller to score, while Arjen Robben escaped Matija Nastasic far too easily for Bayern's third.
"We didn't expect an easy game like that," said Robben. "It is a compliment to our team but we expected more from City."
A defeat to the German treble winners can be tolerated, but sloppiness such as this has already seen City drop six points from winning positions in the Premier League as Cardiff and Aston Villa were allowed to fight back from going behind.
Before Wednesday's clash Pep Guardiola claimed that he "would like to be like" Manuel Pellegrini, because "no matter which team he is training, the team is always playing the same way".
However, while there have been occasions when City have shown the attacking intent that Pellegrini favours - such as the 4-1 thrashing of United - the manager is yet to inspire consistency in his team. A similar problem blighted City's chances of winning the Premier League last year (they were consistent in Europe, at least), and the Engineer needs to apply some grease to the wheels for City to progress.
What more can be said? What started out as one or two slip-ups has become rooted unreliability. This is now a make-or-break season for Hart, with City unlikely to give the keeper another chance unless he proves himself between now and the summer.
Hart may have had a night to forget against Bayern, but his mistakes were still surpassed by Viktoria Plzen keeper Matus Kozacik, who had a Peter Enckelman moment in the defeat to CSKA Moscow.
He was meant to be the answer to United's midfield problems, but Fellaini's inept performance against Shakhtar only posed more questions for David Moyes, who hauled off his solitary summer signing after 66 minutes.
That was still enough time for Fellaini to commit an alarming eight fouls - a total bettered by only three players in the entirety of the first two matches - and lose possession on eight occasions. The Belgian may have played a part in Danny Welbeck's opening goal - which owed more to Yaroslav Rakytskyi's slip - but overall he offered very little in both attack and defence.
If Fellaini's display was a one-off then it would perhaps be of little concern, but he was similarly conspicuous by his faults in the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City and Moyes should be worried that his £27million recruit is struggling to step up.
A second draw in succession in the group stage with some sloppy defending against Roberto Mancini's Galatasaray. Juve face a tough challenge against the Turks to secure second spot, with Antonio Conte now having to lead his side through a double-header against Real Madrid and Mancini enjoying two eminently winnable clashes against Copenhagen.
Conceding that Ajax are a 'superior team' is unlikely to be well-received in Milan.
A chance to shove his new life down the throats of Chelsea fans on his return to England, only to see his team unravel in the first 15 minutes.
Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.
Fellaini didn't play well but 5 of the 8 fouls weren't fouls, they were a stronger player holding off a weaker player and getting penalised.- wozza