A Neymar Jr inspired Brazil defeat Messi and Mascherano's Argentina (3-0)
Coutinho, Barça's Neymar Jr and Paulinho scored the goals in a game that was decided in the first 45 minutes
Neymar Jr's Brazil have beaten an Argentina side containing Barça players Javier Mascherano and Leo Messi. Brazil, who imposed themselves against arch rivals Argentina with an impressive 3-0 win in Belo Horizonte, stay top of the South American qualification table ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Coutinho, Neymar Jr and Paulinho made the difference on the night.
Neymar Jr decisive in the first half
After an even start to the game, Brazil took control of the much awaited Superclásico, which was the first official game between the two national teams in which Barça's Messi and Neymar Jr have faced each other. The opening goal came from an unstoppable shot by Coutinho from the edge of the box in the 25th minute.
Before half time Neymar Jr, who had hit the post minutes before, doubled the lead after a good passing move from Brazil. The second goal came at an excellent time and gave Argentina a psychological blow right before the end of the first half, leaving them lots to do in the second 45 minutes.
Argentina tried to change things and Agüero came on for the second half. However, this made little difference and Brazil continued to dominate. Neymar Jr was busy throughout and Paulinho added the third goal in the 58th minute to give Brazil a commanding lead.
Argentina had no response and this victory keeps Brazil top of the South American group with 24 points, one more than Suárez's Uruguay. Worryingly for Argentina, this result leaves them sixth with 16 points.