Barcelona 3-0 Juventus

Ruben Ruiz
September 13, 2017

After more than two months of the break, once again we can see world's best players and best teams.

The team was in good shape, then, heading into the Champions League, but Juventus were a level above any of the Catalan club's league opponents so far.

Barca will welcome the Italian champions as joint leaders in La Liga after a 5-0 thrashing of local rivals Espanyol on Saturday maintained their 100 per cent league record, but this game will be a stern test of their credentials. Giorgio Chiellini, Benedikt Howedes, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio and Mario Mandzukic are all injured.

The match was a repeat of last season's quarter-final which Juve won 3-0 on aggregate, but it was Barcelona who prevailed by that scoreline on matchday one as Messi continued his inspired early-season form. Luis Suarez saw an effort chalked off and Buffon had to be at his best to deny Messi a hat-trick with a flying stop from a free-kick. After the first half, the guests had three goal advantage, and everything was clear even then. That run includes 19 victories and two draws - one of which was against Juventus in the quarterfinals last season. Dembele and Paulinho are unlikely to start as he will rely on the likes of the in-form Messi and Ivan Rakitic to get a good result. Juan Cuadrado is suspended. But the world's greatest player broke his duck against the world's greatest keeper with a goal in the 45th minute to help propel Barcelona to a 3-0 win.

Reuters/Sergio PerezBarcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after he scored their first goal against Deportivo Alaves, May 27, 2017. The same can be said in Scotland where PSG did a job 5 - zip on Celtic, much to the discontent of the Scottish fans.

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In the 52nd minute Messi hit the post with an absolute screamer and Buffon was lucky to gather and just two minutes later the Argentine is shown a yellow card for dissent.

Juventus had a big chance to respond right at the start of the second half, but Dybala couldn't match his global teammate's finish and he lifted his shot over the bar.

It was the Messi show from that point on, though, and the five-time Ballon d'Or victor nearly doubled his personal tally for the evening in the 52nd minute when his powerful 25-yard drive struck the post before bouncing back off the beaten Buffon and behind.

According to FiveThirtyEight's Soccer Power Index (SPI), Barcelona enter with a 96 percent chance of advancing beyond Group D, while Juventus have an 86 percent chance of doing so.

Other reports by GizPress

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