Lionel Messi Magic Leads Barcelona to Juventus Win

  • Sports
Lionel Messi Magic Leads Barcelona to Juventus Win

A magical performance from Lionel Messi, who scored a brace, led Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Juventus in their opening Champions League group game.

Barcelona gave Ousmane Dembele his full debut and he briefly threatened with his pace from the right, but the early running was made by Juventus who forced Marc-Andre ter Stegen into two good stops from outside the box.

Just before half-time, Messi scored his first goal against Gianluigi Buffon when a one-two with Luis Suarez gave him room to drill into the corner.

Ernesto Valverde's first European game for the club became easier to enjoy when a revitalised Messi teed up Ivan Rakitic, before adding a trademark solo for his second.

Juventus had a late, convincing appeal for a penalty turned down after Gerard Pique handled a Medhi Benatia header on the line, but by then the game was settled.

TALKING POINT

Are Barcelona on their way back? It's clearly too early to be sure, but the signs were there. This was the classic Barcelona approach to football. They suffocated Juventus across the pitch, and were incessantly pressing at the back. They kept the ball confidently, but also broke with ruthlessness when the chances were given to them. They had looked sluggish under Luis Enrique. Perhaps they didn't need an overhaul of the squad, simply a change of methods behind the scene.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Lionel Messi (Barcelona): From a man suffering from what appeared to be a terminal case of mardiness last season, he was transformed back to the old Messi. He was lithe and direct, and he barely put a foot wrong throughout the match. The speed of foot and thought kept Juventus rattled from the moment he scored, and in this form he could make Ernesto Valverde's job a lot easier.

PLAYER RATINGS

Barcelona: Ter Stegen 7, Semedo 7, Pique 6, Umtiti 6, Alba 6, Sergio 6, Rakitic 7, Iniesta 7, Suarez 6, Messi 9, Dembele 7. Subs: Paulinho 7, Sergi Roberto 6, André Gomes 6.

Juventus: Buffon 6, De Sciglio 6, Barzagli 5, Benatia 6, Alex Sandro 6, Bentancur 5, Pjanic 6, Matuidi 6, Douglas Costa 5, Higuain 6, Dybala 6. Subs: Sturaro 6, Caligara 6, Bernardeschi 6.

 

Source: eurosport