Skip to content

Neymar’s first goal, Messi’s new injury highlight Spanish Super Cup draw

Aug 21, 2013, 8:12 PM EST

Neymar has had a solid start to his Barca career. AP

Barcelona started the season with a six-goal first half at the Nou Camp, going on to beat Levante, 7-0. They’re 45 minutes that now stand in stark contrast to tonight’s first half at the Vicente Calderon – the start of Spanish Super Cup.

Through the first half of the two-leg match, Atlético Madrid (last year’s Copa deal Rey champions) hounded Barcelona to the edge of distinction. The defending Spanish champions failed to put a shot on goal as Atlético, thanks to a 12th minute goal from former Blaugrana David Villa, took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

But the deficit was the least of Barcelona’s halftime worries. Lionel Messi, who scored twice in his team’s opening weekend victory, was brought off for Cesc Fabregas at the beginning of the second, a thigh injury picked up in the first half preventing the four-time Balon d’Or-winner from continuing.

Half-way through the second period, Barcelona finally started stressing the Atlético defense, with Neymar (brought on at the hour mark) scoring his first goal for the club in the 66th minute. On a cross from Dani Alves, Neymar was left unmarked at the far post, heading down and past Thibaut Courtois for Barcelona’s only goal:

Barcelona take the 1-1 result back to the Nou Camp for next week’s second leg. In between, they travel to Andalusia to take on Málaga. In the mean time, Atlético will host fellow Madrid club Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Despite the competitive match at the Vicente Calderon, with the result of the tie still very much in doubt, the talking points out of today’s game will center on Barcelona’s change of fortune, Messi’s injury, and …:

  • What happened between Sunday’s rout and Wednesday’s struggles? Likely, nothing. Levante are just bad. On the road against a much higher caliber opponent, Barcelona’s results were always going to regress, and while most may have them winning today’s game, there’s no shame in drawing against last year’s third place finisher. The bigger concern will be a first half in which Atlético appeared to be the much more inspired side.
  • Messi’s injury will spark memories of last year, when his spring was hindered by a hamstring problem. It’s not that today’s injury is related; rather, it will rekindle nightmares of how different Barcelona were without him. Their 7-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in UEFA Champions League’s semifinals spoke to the dependence Barcelona’s developed on their star. Perhaps Neymar can change that, but still unable to go 90 minutes, it’s too early to be relying on the Brazilian for anything . Today’s goal was a bonus.
  • Finally, those kits. Barcelona were with a yellow and red vertical stripes, a look I’d never seen before. Kit Nerds may have known this was coming; if so, I really wish they would have warned us. We don’t need to see this look again.

 

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH: Premier League live online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 27

    Feb 28, 2015, 8:20 AM EST

    Live Extra

    How to watch every single PL game during Week 27 live online or via the app.

  2. Watch Live: West Ham United vs. Crystal Palace (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:33 AM EST

    Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace FC Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace FC

    How will Pardew get on as he returns to Upton Park? Watch live online, here.

  3. Odell Beckham Jr. appears on TV show in England, reveals former dream was to be a pro soccer player

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:20 AM EST

    Washington Redskins v New York Giants Getty Images

    Beckham chats with Sky Sports in the UK about his dream to play soccer, ‘that’ catch and much more.

  4. WATCH: Van Gaal remains coy over Manchester United’s league standing

    Feb 27, 2015, 11:46 PM EST

    Manchester United v Cambridge United - FA Cup Fourth Round Replay Getty Images

    Louis van Gaal speaks of Manchester United’s mindset at this stage of the season.

  5. Celtic aim to catch fans who violated UEFA policy with fireworks

    Feb 27, 2015, 10:50 PM EST

    Celtic Getty Images

    Celtic released a statement that urged fans to join hunt for the people who set off fireworks in Europa League competition and violated UEFA’s code of conduct.

  6. Mourinho believes Premier League ‘loses credibility’ with Matic suspension

    Feb 27, 2015, 9:15 PM EST

    France Soccer Champions League AP

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho asserted the Premier League’s reputation is at stake with Nemanja Matic’s ban.

  7. Former DC United midfielder Freddy Adu to sign with Swedish side

    Feb 27, 2015, 7:32 PM EST

    Credit: Blackpool Gazette Credit: Blackpool Gazette

    Freddy Adu will have a shot to revive his career in Sweden.

  8. Bale, Ronaldo declared fully fit after ‘precautionary’ training week

    Feb 27, 2015, 6:48 PM EST

    FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ESPANYOL FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-ESPANYOL

    Bale and Ronaldo are set to perform in Sunday’s match vs. Villarreal after not taking part in full training sessions this week.

  9. Bayern Munich down FC Köln, cruise to 11-point Bundesliga lead

    Feb 27, 2015, 5:40 PM EST

    FC Bayern Muenchen v SC Freiburg - Bundesliga Getty Images

    Bayern Munich unsurprisingly improves on their position in league competition.

  10. Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Everton, Man United, Man City, Stoke

    Feb 27, 2015, 4:20 PM EST

    464041878 Getty Images

    Citizens, Red Devils and Toffees will all bag big wins this weekend, according to PST’s Editor and Lead Writer.

  11. Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Crystal Palace

    Feb 27, 2015, 3:50 PM EST

    FBL-ENG-FACUP-CRYSTAL PALACE-LIVERPOOL Getty Images

    Preview of West Ham-Crystal Palace match airing live on NBCSN this Saturday morning.

  12. Watching a UEFA Champions League game with US star Geoff Cameron

    Feb 27, 2015, 3:16 PM EST

    Cameron admires, and has beaten, Arsenal. Cameron admires, and has beaten, Arsenal.

    In our latest with Stoke City and U.S. national team star Geoff Cameron, we sit down in his house and watch Arsenal’s clash with AS Monaco.

  13. WATCH: PST Extra previews Liverpool vs. Manchester City

    Feb 27, 2015, 2:55 PM EST

    PST Extra - Feb. 27

    The PST Extra crew dissect the key areas as Liverpool host Man City on Sunday.

  14. Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Sunderland

    Feb 27, 2015, 2:25 PM EST

    Swansea City v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    Watch United vs. Sunderland live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday.

  15. WATCH: Premier League TV schedule – Week 27

    Feb 27, 2015, 12:44 PM EST

    PremierLeagueNBC

    Where and how to watch all the Premier League games during Week 27.

  16. Sepp Blatter wants 2022 World Cup final to be played on December 18

    Feb 27, 2015, 12:01 PM EST

    Blatter: “The World Cup will not go on until the 23rd, definitely not.”