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While You Were Asleep: Lukaku scores on return to Inter, Neymar stars for Paris and Barca begin season with a draw

Lukaku took less than a minute and a half to score in his first game post a disappointing year by his standards with Chelsea in the Premier League.

(Left to right) Lukaku celebrating his goal in the Serie A opener for Inter, Neymar preparing to take a corner vs Montpellier, and Lewandowski misses out on a chance to score vs Vallecano. (Photos: Inter, PSG English and FC Barcelona on Twitter)

After just a season away from the club where he became one of the most lethal striking forces across Europe, Romelu Lukaku marked his return to Inter with a goal in the first match of the Serie A season against US Lecce.

The 29-year-old took less than a minute and a half to score in his first game post a disappointing year by his standards with Chelsea in the Premier League. The goal helped Inter seal a 1-2 win and take three points home from their away trip.

Lukaku was part of the Inter side that won the league in 2021 and the Belgian scored 64 times in 95 appearances across two seasons. It was reported that Lukaku took a pay cut of 8.5 million euros for the coming campaign to part ways with the London club and return to Italy.

Neymar stars as PSG beat Montpellier

In France, Paris Saint Germain thrashed Montpellier 5-2 in their round 2 match of Ligue 1. Brazilian forward Neymar orchestrated the damage as he scored as well as assisted on the night.

The 30-year-old was denied a hattrick on the night following a VAR check but the hosts had control of the match anyways. Neymar now has 5 goals in three assists so far this season across three outings.

While it was an own goal from the visiting side’s Falaye Sacko that opened the account for Paris on the night, Kylian Mbappe’s penalty and a late goal from Renato Sanches made it five for the hosts alongside Neymar’s brace.

Barca begin season with a 0-0 stalemate

Post a heavy lifting summer transfer window, which is currently not yet over, it was a disappointing start of the La Liga season for FC Barcelona as they drew 0-0 at home against Rayo Vallecano.

The runner ups from last season had been able to register four of their signings going into matchday 1 including Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Andreas Christensen, and Franck Kessie following an anxious tussle with the Spanish league over the financial complications of their transfer window shopping.

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While all four featured on the night for the Blaugrana, it hardly made a difference on the scoresheet. Despite being the better of the two sides on the night in terms of ball possession and chances created, Barcelona were unable to breach through the Vallecano defence and had to settle for sharing a point each on the night. The hosts were further compounded with misery as captain Sergio Busquets was sent off in the stoppage time of the second half.

First published on: 14-08-2022 at 08:34:08 am
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