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European football: Barcelona got their season up and running even though Lionel Messi was again absent, while Paris Saint-Germain lost Kylian Mbappe to injury but saw another striker emerge from the shadows to grab the headlines.
Juventus’ Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini (L) celebrates with Juventus’ Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic (C) and teammates after opening the scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Parma vs Juventus on August 24, 2019 at the Ennio-Tardini stadium in Parma. (Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP) Elsewhere, there was handball controversy in Germany, while a new-look Juventus started the season with a narrow victory.
AFP Sport takes a look at five main talking points from the weekend in European football:
No need for Neymar?
Barcelona might put their pursuit of Neymar on ice after they scored five, without Lionel Messi as Antoine Griezmann hit two, in a thrilling 5-2 win over Real Betis on Sunday. It was a much-needed victory after their opening defeat by Athletic Bilbao, which had raised familiar doubts around Ernesto Valverde’s future and an over-reliance on Messi.
If Barca appear well-stocked up fro
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