Another strong team performance, another Messi show
Barcelona kicked off their new journey in the Champions League with a fantastic performance and a dominant 3-0 victory over Juventus at Camp Nou. Lionel Messi (2) and Ivan Rakitic scored the goals, and after a tough first half the Blaugrana completely outclassed last season’s finalists in the final period and started their European season in style.
The initial period was very balanced, with both teams looking to stay compact defensively and keep spaces very tight in their own halves. Barça had most of the possession but struggled to break down a very organized Juve defense, especially in central areas.
Juve had a few half-chances on the counter, but it was a strong defensive battle between two very good teams that negated each other for 45 minutes. But Barça eventually found a breakthrough thanks to the greatest player in history. After a gorgeous collective buildup, Lionel Messi made a one-two with Luis Suárez and found the bottom corner with a beautiful finish to give the Blaugrana the lead in the last play of the half.
At halftime, the only difference between two very even sides was Messi, and Barça had the advantage.
Juventus had the first chance of the half with Paulo Dybala sending a ball over the bar, but that was the only bit of danger we saw from the Italians. Barça instantly took control of the game after that moment, and Messi started to influence the game more and more. The Argentine hit the post after a pass from Jordi Alba, and it was his shot cleared off the line that led to Ivan Rakitic’s goal on the rebound.
The second goal gave confidence to the hosts who began to pile up the pressure on Juve and Messi once again tore them apart and easily beat Gianluigi Buffon to get his second goal and Barça’s third. The team simply kept possession in the final minutes to guarantee the victory and a fourth straight clean sheet.
Yes, Juventus missed some great players, but Barça were impressive regardless. The team looks good, y’all.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic (Paulinho), Busquets, Iniesta (Gomes); Dembélé (Roberto), Messi, Suárez
Goals: Messi (45’, 69’), Rakitic (56’)
Juventus: Buffon; De Sciglio (Sturaro), Barzagli, Benatia, Sandro; Bentancur (Bernardeschi), Pjanic, Matuidi, Costa; Higuaín (Caligara), Dybala