Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Pre-Season

Neymar with Cesc Fabregas © Gallo Images

Neymar bags first Barca goal in Thai rout



Brazilian wonderkid Neymar scored his first goal in Barcelona colours as the Catalan giants swatted aside Thailand 1-7 in a friendly in Bangkok on Wednesday.

Spain international Pedro notched a neat hat-trick, while Argentine superstar Lionel Messi scored a brace – including one from the penalty spot – in a first half appearance that draw screams of adulation from the near 50 000-capacity crowd at Bangkok's Rajamangala stadium.

Alexis Sanchez scored the visitor's seventh and final goal as a second half substitute as new manager Gerardo Martino watched his charges cruise to a routine win over a plucky but callow Thai side.

Thailand's star striker Teerasil Dangda scored a consolation penalty in the last minute of the first-half following a bungled recovery tackle by young Cameroonian centre-half Frank Bagnack.

But all eyes were on Barca's flamboyant new signing Neymar, who was this week reportedly been diagnosed with anaemia, and his partnership up front with four-time world player of the year Messi.

Martino said the pair will compliment each other, as Barca look to a reshaped front line to spearhead a defence of their La Liga crown and banish last season's Champions League humbling by Bayern Munich.

"They (Messi and Neymar) are different players but I think they showed a good understanding today," the former Paraguay coach told reporters. "They found each other well."

The Blaugrana's €57 million headline summer signing showed no sign of his apparent blood illness in a lively 45 minutes, the highlight of which was his landmark goal from close range on 12 minutes, sparking the rout as Barca cruised to a 1-5 halftime lead.

But it was Cesc Fabregas, the subject of a major transfer bid from Manchester United, was at the heart of Barca's best moves, his metronomic passing from the left side of the three-man midfield reminding spectators why the club are so keen to keep the playmaker.

Martino said the graduate of the team's fabled La Masia academy was going nowhere, despite United's very public courting of his creative services.

"Fabregas is still here with us... he is staying with us right now, he will stay with us for the rest of the year," he said, dismissing talk of a transfer.

The second half saw Barca's first choice trio of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets replace Alex Song and highly-regarded youngster Sergi Roberto, who is tipped to make up for the loss of Thiago Alacantra to Bayern.

Fabregas pushed up into the front three as Messi and Neymar also made way.

Xavi immediately stepped up the tempo, floating passes across the pitch and bouncing the ball off Fabregas before the younger man withdrew with 20 minutes to play.

Earlier, Pedro completed his hat-trick with a nicely taken first-time lob on 47 minutes, which Sanchez followed a minute later, tapping home another sweeping Barca move.

Barca are the fourth big name side to travel to Bangkok this summer hot on the heels of English Premier League giants Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool who have all toured the kingdom.

The Catalan side return to Asia three years after their last tour of the football-mad continent – home to a massive fan base and huge potential sums in sponsorship.

This video is not available in your region
The tour is also final chance for Martino to assess his players in official friendly action before they start their La Liga defence on August 18.

Barca travel to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to play a Malaysia XI on August 10.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Neil Tovey
Baxter’s men on the ball
Kaizer Chiefs’ 15-match winning streak may have ended but they remain the team to beat in the PSL.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Mata can't replace Rooney
Manchester United started the first of three crucial Premier League games against West Brom (away),...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Rodgers must focus on the league
Many footballers arriving in the Barclays Premier League have been warned of second-season syndrome.

Sunday Oliseh
Dortmund's winning formula is killing it
I sat in Signal Iduna Park to watch Dortmund over-run Arsenal and wondered, how long will it take...

John Dykes
A Gooner or a gonner?
An International Break can do funny things to the mind. Mine, for instance was heavily engaged this...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Why can’t soccer be like rugby?
Sport is supposed to be sport; something we all do for the love of it, for recreational purposes,...