MADRID (AP) — Neymar scored his first goal for Barcelona to secure a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday after Lionel Messi left the field injured in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
Atletico's David Villa enjoyed the perfect start against his former club by netting well-taken opener in the 12th minute. He left Barcelona following the arrival of Neymar in the offseason.
Neymar went on in the 59th with the Catalan club struggling in attack, and seven minutes later headed in the equalizer from a pass by Dani Alves.
The 21-year-old Neymar joined the Spanish champions from Brazilian club Santos for 57 million euros in June, the eighth most expensive signing in football history.
And after two appearances, both as a substitute as he recovers from anemia, he has his first goal.
"My first goal is a thrilling moment," said Neymar. "I'm very happy because I went on and was able to help the team in a tough moment. We got a good result and now we need to finish it off at home."
The return match will be played at Barcelona's Camp Nou next Wednesday after this weekend's league fixtures.
Villa opened the scoring with a beautiful goal that he helped create with his passing before finishing off with a right-foot volley. After Atletico had recovered the ball, Villa combined with Arda Turan on the left flank before slicing the Turkey midfielder's cross between diving goalkeeper Victor Valdes and the post.
"I'm happy because (scoring) is what I'm asked to do," Villa said. "In the first half I was able to put one in. But the draw is a shame because we worked and ran hard against a very good team. Too bad we couldn't get a better result. The tie is wide open."
In the first half, Atletico's packed midfield and physical play shut down Barcelona's attack that had cruised to a 7-0 win over Levante on Sunday, but against the Copa del Rey holders was limited to Pedro Rodriguez's timid shot before Villa's goal.