A teenage sensation led Barcelona to a commanding victory over Valencia in the Spanish league on Saturday, while Eden Hazard made his long-awaited debut for Real Madrid before both rivals face tough Champions League openers. Barcelona youth Ansu Fati took over a starring role from the injured Messi with a goal and an assist to lead a 5-2 rout of Valencia. His second-minute goal made him the youngest player to score at Camp Nou at the age of 16 years, 318 days. It was his third appearance since his Aug. 25 debut. He established a milestone in his second match as the youngest player to score in la Liga in the club’s history in a 2-2 draw at Osasuna. “[Fati] is a player that has something special,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “He is a striker who is mature beyond his years.” Spanish league leader Atlético Madrid is ahead of Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao by one point. Barcelona is two points behind.
Jeered by PSG fans, Neymar scores winner
Amid loud jeers and insulting banners from his own fans, Neymar scored a stunning bicycle kick during injury time for French league leader Paris Saint-Germain to beat Strasbourg 1-0 on Saturday. Neymar met Abdou Diallo’s left-wing cross as it drifted behind him, brilliantly hooking it in with his left foot as he was falling backward. Even as Neymar celebrated, PSG ultras behind the goal where he scored still jeered him. He angered those fans with his public desire to rejoin former club Barcelona in the offseason. The forward, who scored for Brazil last week, sat out four league games as he tried to force a move back but talks broke down. “I stayed calm. We all know what happened; I understand that it’s very difficult for them,” Neymar said. “But as from now I am a PSG player. If they want to whistle me, no problem.”
Conte quickly making his mark at Inter
Three rounds into Serie A, Inter Milan is already displaying the same grit, energy and determination that have been the hallmark of Antonio Conte’s teams. The Nerazzurri overcame a strong performance by 10-man Udinese for a 1-0 win on Saturday to extend their perfect start and establish a two-point lead over eight-time defending champion Juventus atop the standings. “We’re taking our own path,” Conte said. “We’re not following anyone.” Conte spent last season idle after winning multiple trophies at Juventus and Chelsea — plus a spell as the coach of Italy — and he’s picking up right where he left off. For the full 90 minutes, Conte ran up and down the sideline, gesticulating and urging his team on from the coach’s box. “We need to fight for every match,” Conte said. “Today was a very, very difficult match. Udinese stayed in it until the end. We could have been a bit more decisive.”