As far as Clasico debuts go, you could do a lot worse than the one enjoyed by Neymar.
The Brazilian star was at the forefront of an impressive team performance as FC Barcelona defeated Real Madrid, 2-1, in the first installment of ‘El Clasico’ of the new La Liga season.
Neymar put his stamp on the game in the 19th minute when he latched onto a perfect pass from Andres Iniesta, and tucked a shot past Diego Lopez to make it 1-0.
Barcelona controlled much of the play in the first half, but Real Madrid turned in a better showing in the second half, with manager Carlo Ancelotti making effective changes that allowed the visitors to get back into the match.
The equalizing goal eluded Real Madrid, and Chilean Alexi Sanchez provided the dagger in the 78th minute with a brilliant chip shot that made the score 2-0.
Real Madrid pulled one back in second-half stoppage time, with 20-year-old top prospect Jese doing the honors, but that was as close as Real Madrid could get.
The match was a thoroughly disappointing one for Gareth Bale, who was ineffective playing in place of Karim Benzema and Isco
The victory pulls Barcelona six points clear of Real Madrid in the La Liga standings, and four points behind second-place Atletico Madrid, which plays Real Betis on Sunday.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Impressed with Neymar? Was it Iniesta’s playmaking ability that caught your eye the most? Disappointed in Gareth Bale’s showing?
Share your thoughts below.