European football: David Moyes' tough start to La Liga continues

Real Sociedad manager David Moyes
David Moyes has won five of the 35 derby games he has been involved in as a manager

Lionel Messi has dominated headlines across Europe this weekend after picking up a knee injury which rules him out for the next seven or eight weeks.

But it has not all been about the Barcelona superstar's injury woe.

Another eventful weekend saw Villarreal climb to the top of the Spanish La Liga at the expense of Barca and Real Madrid, while Juventus's dismal defence of their Italian crown continued.

But what are the stories you might have missed?

A Brazil forward has again accused Russian fans of racially abusing him, one team warmed up for English opposition in the Champions League with a 5-1 win, while a former Premier League maverick appears to be rebuilding his career in France.

Here BBC Sport takes a look at the big stories on the continent.

Moyes' tough start continues

Basque derby
The Basque derby failed to attract a capacity crowd, with 6,000 empty seats at the 32,000-capacity Anoeta Stadium

David Moyes' difficult start to the season continued as his Real Sociedad side failed to score for the fourth time in six La Liga games.

La Real, who only earned their first league win of the campaign on Tuesday, were held to a 0-0 home draw against arch-rivals Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The Basque derby, being played for the 141st time, ended goalless for the first time in 16 years.

And the pressure remains on ex-Everton and Manchester United manager Moyes as his side continue their search for a first home win of the season.

The teams, who are separated by 60 miles, both remain in the bottom half of the Spanish top flight.

Angry Hulk blows kisses at 'racist' fans

Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk
Hulk has scored 12 goals in 43 appearances for Brazil after making his debut in a 1-0 victory against England in Doha in 2009

Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk says he blew kisses at Spartak Moscow fans because he allegedly received racist abuse during his side's Russian Premier League game.

The 29-year-old Brazilian gestured towards the home fans during injury-time of Saturday's 2-2 draw.

"Unfortunately, the same things are happening - racism in the stands," he told Zenit's official website.

"I won't pay any attention to this. I will continue to blow kisses and answer them with the way I play on the pitch."

Arsenal given Champions League warning

Olympiakos supporters
Olympiakos supporters will back their team in numbers at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday

Greek champions Olympiakos prepared for Tuesday's Champions League tie at Arsenal with a five-star performance at the weekend.

Olympiakos, who rested a number of key players ahead of the trip to London, thrashed visiting Giannina 5-1 to extend their perfect start in the Superleague to six matches.

Portuguese leaders Porto played on Friday, giving them the benefit of an extra day's rest ahead of Jose Mourinho's return with Chelsea on Tuesday.

But they dropped two vital points in a 2-2 draw at lowly Moreirense, who earned only their second point of the season with a late equaliser.

German club Borussia Monchengladbach warmed up for Wednesday's match against Manchester City with their second win in two matches under interim coach Andre Schubert.

Gladbach, whose manager Lucien Favre resigned after they failed to earn a point in their opening five matches, earned a 3-1 victory against Stuttgart.

Wolfsburg also face Manchester opposition on Wednesday when they travel to Premier League leaders United.

The fourth-placed Wolves, who were beaten 5-1 by Bayern Munich in midweek, continued to stutter with a 1-1 draw in the Lower Saxony derby against struggling Hannover.

In-form Van Persie ready for Celtic

Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie left Manchester United in July after scoring 58 goals in 88 starts

Robin van Persie is hoping to return to Fenerbahce's starting XI to face Celtic in the Europa League after coming off the bench to score in the Istanbul derby at Besiktas.

But the Dutchman, who has scored in each of his last two games after appearing as a substitute, could not prevent Fenerbahce surrendering top spot to their opponents after a 3-2 derby defeat.

Britain's other Europa League representatives - Tottenham and Liverpool - may also be encouraged by their opponents' weekend fortunes.

Monaco, who welcome Tottenham to Stade Louis II on Thursday, surrendered the lead three times to draw 3-3 at French Ligue 1 rivals Guingamp.

And Swiss side Sion, who are fifth in the 10-team Super League, travel to Liverpool on the back of a 1-0 home defeat against Vaduz.

Ben Arfa back to form

Hatem Ben Arfa appears to be enjoying his football again in France
Hatem Ben Arfa appears to be enjoying his football again in France

Hatem Ben Arfa is rebuilding his career after his acrimonious split with Newcastle, and his two goals inspired Nice to a 4-1 victory away at Saint Etienne in France's Ligue 1.

It was his second brace in four days and moved Nice up to ninth in the table.

The 28-year-old Frenchman completed his move back to his homeland in June - after Fifa rules stated he couldn't play for the club when he first made the switch in January.

Because the playmaker had played for Newcastle reserves and on loan at Hull last season, he had to wait for the new campaign to pull on his new side's colours.

French football journalist Julien Laurens tweeted: "Ben Arfa has six Ligue 1 goals so far this season, like Edinson Cavani. No one has more. Talk about redemption..."

Juventus not panicking - Evra

Patrice Evra of Juventus
Patrice Evra has played five of Juve's opening six league matches

Italian champions Juventus lost their third Serie A match of the season when they went down 2-1 at Napoli - the same number of defeats they suffered in the whole of last season's title-winning campaign.

But left-back Patrice Evra insists the Bianconeri, who are missing a host of injured key players including Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio and Mario Mandzukic, will turn their form around.

"We're all responsible. Our young players cannot be used as an excuse and it's down to the older heads to help them out," said the 34-year-old France international.

"It's a difficult moment for us, and it hurts, but we're not panicking and I remain fully optimistic."

Gunners misfits on the scoresheet

Gervinho joined Arsenal from Lille for £10.5m in 2011

Two former Arsenal players not known for their goalscoring prowess while at the Emirates Stadium found the net over the weekend.

Gervinho claimed his first goal in Serie A since the end of November as Roma beat Carpi 5-1 to earn a first win in four games.

Ending an even more barren run, albeit from centre-back, was Sebastien Squillaci.

The former France international doubled his goal output for the whole of last season by scoring twice as Bastia ended a four-game losing run by beating Toulouse 3-0 in Ligue 1.

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