In the English Premier League, Arsenal struggled to get a draw against Sunderland and avoided a second straight league defeat; while in Germany, Bayern Munich couldn't beat Bochum, putting more pressure on its coach Jürgen Klinsmann.
Manchester United maintained the pressure on English Premier League leaders Chelsea and Liverpool on Saturday as Arsenal avoided another embarrassing defeat.
United defender Wes Brown scored a disputed header in the first half at Blackburn Rovers and striker Wayne Rooney scored after the break for a 2-0 win that keeps the champions breathing down the leaders' necks.
"We had a difficult start to the season, four hard away games out of the way, and we're still in a decent position, so we've got to take confidence from those games," said Rooney.
Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas rescued Arsenal from the spectre of a second straight league defeat with an injury-time header in a 1-1 draw at Sunderland just minutes after the hosts took the lead and seemed set for a shock victory.
Meanwhile Middlesbrough won 1-0 at Wigan and West Bromwich beat visitors Fulham by the same scoreline.
Brown's 31st-minute goal at Ewood Park came from a Rooney cross from the left, though Nemanja Vidic may have fouled Rovers goalkeeper Jason Brown.
Cristiano Ronaldo set up Rooney's goal in the 64th minute, the England striker finishing with a first time shot.
The result leaves United three points behind the leaders and Alex Ferguson's Champions League winners will have a game in hand following this weekend's round of matches.
Chelsea host Aston Villa on Sunday, while Liverpool travel to Manchester City.
At the Stadium of Light, Grant Leadbitter scored an 86th-minute goal for Sunderland, two minutes after replacing veteran Dwight Yorke. The 22-year-old midfielder crashed a shot which hit the Gunners' crossbar before bouncing down over the line.
Arsenal lost 2-1 at home to Hull last weekend and seemed set for a second defeat to lesser opposition.
But Fabregas salvaged a draw with an impressive header that left the Gunners on 13 points, one behind the leaders ahead of Sunday's matches.
Arsenal thought they should have taken the lead earlier when Theo Walcott cut the ball back for Robin van Persie to score, but the match officials ruled the ball had gone out of play.
"It is frustrating because Sunderland never came out, they were happy with a 0-0 from the first moment," Gunners boss Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports television.
"We had a good attitude a good response but we are frustrated. In the last two championship games, everything went against us. We tried, we lacked a little bit of sharpness, maybe, but overall the attitude was very good."
Of Fabregas's late equaliser, the Frenchman said: "That tells you a lot about the team and about Cesc as a man as well."
Sunderland boss Roy Keane said he was pleased with the Black Cats' performance.
"I thought we were outstanding, the discipline of the team, the way we played," the Irishman said.
"Overall I think a draw was possibly a fair result. They were dangerous today, Arsenal always are, but I think we handled that well."
He said of Leadbitter's goal: "It's always nice for every club to see a local lad coming through and having an influence on the game. He showed what he's capable of doing."
At the JJB Stadium, former Gunners striker Jeremie Aliadiere scored a last-ditch goal of his own, his 89th-minute effort the only goal of the game as visitors Middlesbrough beat Wigan.
The goal ended Middlesbrough's run of four straight defeats and was their first non-defeat on the road this season.
Aliadiere got on the end of a Stuart Downing header and beat goalkeeper Ross Turnbull with a left-footed finish from the centre of the penalty area.
"Our mentality going into the game was different and you could sense a determination about them," Boro boss Gareth Southgate told reporters.
"The irony is we've played much better football in our last two games and taken nothing."
Latics manager Steve Bruce moaned that side had been "well and truly mugged."
"We needed to score and unfortunately we didn't manage to do that, and we've been caught with a horrible sucker punch at the end," he said.
Meanwhile Roman Bednar's 61st-minute goal at the Hawthorns was enough for West Brom to see off visitors Fulham.
It was the Czech international striker's third goal of the season, but the first from open play -- the other two having come from the penalty spot.
On Sunday, Newcastle play at Everton in their first match under the caretaker leadership of Joe Kinnear.
Fellow strugglers Tottenham will be hoping to avoid Arsenal's fate when top-flight first-timers Hull visit White Hart Lane. Portsmouth host Stoke and Bolton travel to West Ham.
Bayern Munich's third league game without a win
Bayern Munich boss Jurgen Klinsmann was under more pressure Saturday as two late goals by lowly VfL Bochum sealed a 3-3 draw at the Allianz Arena to put the defending champions 11th in the Bundesliga.
After defeats by Werder Bremen and Hanover, Bayern have now gone three league games without a win and Klinsmann is feeling the heat.
Despite Bayern taking a 3-1 lead, with two goals from Brazilian Ze Roberto, Bochum scored twice in the last ten minutes through midfielders Christoph Dabrowski and Dennis Grote.
"The result is unsatisfactory from our point of view," said ex-Germany coach Klinsmann.
"If you lead 3-1, and have the chance to go 4-1 ahead, such a thing should just not happen. We already had the game won, but perhaps the team were too sure of themselves.
"I hope such a thing does not happen again."
Daniel van Buyten had scored an early goal to put Bayern ahead, but Bochum's Turkey striker Sinan Kaloglu equalised on thirty minutes only for Ze Roberto to score on the stroke of half-time to give Bayern a 2-1 cushion.
The Brazilian popped up again on 68 minutes to score his third goal, before Dabrowski and Grote ruined the party in Munich.
Hoffenheim are again Bundesliga leaders after their 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt as Senegal striker Demba Ba scored twice to give his side three points.
There are now three sides all on 13 points at the league's summit and Stuttgart are second in the table thanks to their shock 4-1 home win over Werder Bremen.
"We played a very good game," said delighted Stuttgart boss Armin Veh.
"We were disciplined, dynamic and strong in the tackle, that was our best performance of the season."
The home team scored two goals in the first half hour to put their guests on the back foot.
Bremen earned a draw at Inter Milan in mid-week in the Champions League, but Werder were powerless as Stuttgart midfielders Sami Khedira and Christian Traesch put their side ahead.
Germany midfielder Roberto Hilbert made it 3-0 just after the hour mark before Bremen's Brazilian Diego scored a consolation goal with a free-kick and midfielder Martin Lanig added Stuttgart's fourth two minutes from time.
The result leaves Bremen sixth. Hamburg are third in the table, also on 13 points, but they have the chance to regain top spot when they play Energie Cottbus on Sunday.
Bayer Leverkusen dropped to fourth in the table as former Liverpool striker Andrey Voronin scored an 89th-minute winner for visitors Hertha Berlin to seal his side's 1-0 victory.
In Saturday's other matches, Cologne scored late to seal a 2-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
On Friday, Karlsruhe picked up three points with a 2-1 win at Arminia Bielefeld.
On Sunday, Schalke 04 have a chance to get amongst the leaders at VfL Wolfsburg while Borussia Dortmund host Hanover 96.
Date created : 2008-10-04