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Rediff.com  » Sports » Footballers of the weekend: Neymar, Alonso, Deulofeu stand out

Footballers of the weekend: Neymar, Alonso, Deulofeu stand out

August 21, 2017 11:01 IST

Check out the top footballers of the weekend…

Neymar nets twice as PSG thrash Toulouse

Neymar

IMAGE: Neymar celebrates his goal. Photograph: PSG/Twitter

Paris St Germain's record signing Neymar scored twice on his home debut as the 10-man side thrashed Toulouse 6-2 to go top of Ligue 1.

Last season's runners-up produced a stunning display as they set out to reap the benefits of securing the services of Brazilian striker Neymar for 222 million euros ($260.92 million).

 

Neymar, who left Barcelona to join the French side, drew PSG level after Max Gradel had put Toulouse ahead with a volley in the 18th minute.

Adrien Rabiot struck home before an Edinson Cavani penalty made it 3-1 after Marco Verratti was given his marching orders in the 69th minute.

The visitors closed the gap thanks to Christopher Jullien's header but there was no stopping PSG as Javier Pastore, Layvin Kurzawa and a second by Neymar completed the rout.

The result moved PSG to the top of the table on goal difference, with champions Monaco and Saint-Etienne also maintaining their 100 percent records with three wins each.

Conte salutes his Chelsea fighters

Marcos Alonso

IMAGE: Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso celebrates with team-mate. Photograph: Chelsea FC/Twitter

For all the talk of crisis at Stamford Bridge following last week's meltdown against Burnley, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was left saluting his side on Sunday after they edged Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in a match they could just as easily have lost.

"I think I must be pleased," said Conte, whose nine-man side were beaten 3-2 by Burnley in their opening match of the new Premier League season.

"I want to thank my players because they showed me great desire and heart and I saw today the fighters."

The Italian was particularly pleased because the champions were without the suspended Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill, giving Tiemoue Bakayoko his debut and trusting Andreas Christensen at the heart of their defence.

But it was a couple of old hands in David Luiz and Marcos Alonso who stood out.

Deulofeu stars for Barcelona
Gerard Deulofeu‏

IMAGE: Gerard Deulofeu‏ celebrates. Photograph: Twitter

Barcelona got off to a winning start in La Liga on Sunday, beating Real Betis 2-0 in a subdued atmosphere at the Nou Camp after the deadly attacks in the Catalan capital and the town of Cambrils.

Rivals Real Madrid began their pursuit of back-to-back league titles for the first time since 2008 with a 3-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna with goals from Gareth Bale, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, although captain Sergio Ramos was sent off in the dying seconds, earning a 23rd career red card.

Betis defender Alin Tosca diverted a cross from the lively Gerard Deulofeu into his own net to put Barca ahead in the 36th minute, while the former Everton forward, who returned to his boyhood club this summer, also laid on the pass for the second goal which was smashed in by Sergi Roberto in the 39th.

Lionel Messi was the fulcrum of most of Barca's creativity and more responsibility was placed on his shoulders due to the absence of Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta.

But the Argentine was denied a goal, hitting the woodwork three times.

Milan pair get off to flying starts with 3-0 wins

AC Milan and Inter Milan, both determined to put last season's mediocre efforts behind them, made flying starts to the new campaign on Sunday with easy 3-0 wins.

AC Milan fielded seven new signings in their starting line-up as they won at Crotone, scoring all their goals in the opening half-hour after being helped by a fourth-minute sending- off for the home team.

Mauro Icardi scored twice in the first 15 minutes to lead Inter to a win at home to Fiorentina and give the visitors' new coach Stefano Pioli, fired by Inter last season, an unhappy return to San Siro.

AS Roma's new signing Aleksandar Kolarov scored with a crafty free kick which he rolled under the wall to give last season's runners-up a 1-0 win at Atalanta.

Valter Birsa scored with a spectacular dipping shot from 25 metres as Chievo won 2-1 at Udinese and Sampdoria beat Serie A debutants Benevento 2-1 with two goals from former Juventus, Napoli and Italy forward Fabio Quagliarella.

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