Europe's Biggest Underachieving Clubs
Most major leagues around Europe are now up and running in the 2013-14 season, with plenty of teams dreaming of silverware and success in 10 months' time.
It hasn't gone quite to plan for some of the biggest clubs early on though, with unexpected defeats and poor performances peppering early results.
Here's the start of our regular roundup of the biggest underachieving teams around Europe—and we'll start in the Premier League before heading over to the mainland.
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Arsenal were the only big Premier League side to fail to win on the opening day, with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs all picking up victories.
The Gunners, despite taking an early lead at home, found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline by full time though, and even had Laurent Koscielny shown a red card for good measure.
Plenty of fans sounded their disapproval during and after the game at the Gunners' failure to spend money in the summer transfer market—all in all, it hasn't been a good start to the season for Arsenal.
Schalke 04 were handed a relatively tough start to the season with an away game at Wolfsburg. Even so, few would have expected them to receive an absolute walloping against a side they finished seven places and 12 points ahead of last season.
That was the outcome though, as Julian Draxler and company were beaten 4-0 in a second half collapse.
The scores were level at the break before Timo Hildebrand conceded three goals in 13 minutes after the break, with the fourth goal going in in the final minutes of the game.
Schalke will be looking to bounce back quickly at Hannover 96 in their next fixture.
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Lazio's league season hasn't even started yet, but they've already taken a pasting.
They faced league winners Juventus in the Italian Super Cup on Sunday and were soundly beaten, with Juve running out 4-0 victors.
Three goals in four second-half minutes did most of the damage.
Lazio's season in Serie A gets up and running with a home match against Udinese on Sunday, by which time they will hope to be in a far more convincing frame of mind.
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Sevilla disappointed with a relatively lowly ninth-place finish in La Liga last season, and they haven't shown anything yet to suggest they are going to improve on that this time around.
Despite being handed a home game to open the 2013-14 season with, they were soundly beaten 3-1 by Atletico Madrid. Unfortunately, Diego Perotti's sole strike was not enough to see off a brace from Diego Costa and a late strike from Cristian Rodriguez.
The one positive that Sevilla could really take was that their next game is against a side who suffered an even heavier defeat. Levante, who were thrashed 7-0 by Barcelona on the opening round of fixtures, are their next opponent.
5. Paris Saint-Germain
Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have spent big once again this summer, but they have far from hit the ground running as they defend their title.
An opening day 1-1 draw against Montpellier was followed up at the weekend with a home 1-1 draw against Ajaccio, who ended last season in 17th place, surviving relegation by just one place and two points.
Admittedly, they found visiting goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in top form, but it was still a surprise result which sees the favourites for this season's title on two points after two games, already four behind likely challengers AS Monaco.
Feyenoord finished last season in third place in the Eredivisie in Holland, but they've made a dreadful start to the new campaign.
In fact, Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Ajax—after they lead for the first half-hour of the game—meant they have opened the new season with three defeats on the spin, lying one place off the bottom of the table with a minus five goal difference.
They face NAC Breda in their next fixture, and they will be desperately hoping to get back on track, already trailing PSV Eindhoven by a full nine points.
Last season's Turkish league runners up Fenerbahce played newly promoted side Konyaspor on the opening day of the Super Lig season, and few would have expected anything other than an away victory.
Indeed, Konyaspor only proved the sixth-best side over the course of the 1. Lig season last term—but were promoted by way of the playoffs to the Super Lig.
Perhaps both Arsenal and Fenerbahce had one eye on their Champions League qualifying clash this weekend, as, like the Gunners, the Turkish giants tasted a hugely unexpected defeat as they crashed 3-2.
The result was all the more surprising given Fenerbahce had actually taken a 2-0 lead in the opening half hour of the match, a lead they held until just 13 minutes from time—but three goals in nine minutes for the top flight newcomers ensured a massive upset.
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Benfica went through the whole of last season in the Liga Sagres in Portugal without losing a single match—until the penultimate round of fixtures, when FC Porto won what was effectively a title decider.
Benfica ended up taking second place, just one point short.
This term their first defeat has come rather quicker; in the first round of matches in fact, with Maritimo pulling off a surprise 2-1 victory.
1. Anzhi Makhachkala
It's not been a great few weeks for Anzhi Makhachkala.
Since the start of the season they had drawn two and lost two of their opening four games, sacked their latest manager after less than a month and received news that their mega-rich owner was no longer backing them to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Striker Aleksander Kokorin signed from rivals Dinamo Moscow for nearly £20 million in early July—and was sold back to the same club, for the same amount, just five weeks later as cost-cutting started to take effect.
In their most recent fixture, with Gadzhi Gadzhiev back in charge, they were beaten by rivals Zenit St. Petersburg on a 3-0 scoreline, leaving them just one place off the bottom of the league table—when they were expected to challenge for the championship trophy itself this season.
All in all, not a great week, and not a great start to 2013-14 for the Dagestan club.