Barcelona 3-0 Juventus: Messi glitz as barca see off juv
Lionel Messi ended his long barren run against Gianluigi Buffon and then left many wondering why it took him so long as he added another in show of strength from Barcelona.
The Serie A champions beat Barca by the same scoreline in the quarter-finals last season before holding out for a second-leg stalemate at Camp Nou.
Record signing Ousmane Dembele was busy on his full Barca debut, but it was a more familiar face that thrilled the home crowd.
Andres Iniesta isn’t finished yet. The 33-year-old started for the second time in four days and showed there’s life in the old dog yet with an exemplary performance against Juventus.
Juve right-back Mattia De Sciglio joined Dembele in making a full debut for his new club and was almost the surprise source of the first goal in the sixth minute – Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen managing to tip wide as a speculative left-footed strike angled awkwardly away from him.
Messi botched an attempt to slide a free-kick under the wall and, precision having failed, Luis Suarez went for power on the rebound, forcing an unsighted Buffon to push over at full stretch.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was back to what he does best soon enough – tearing into space behind Alex Sandro on the Juventus left. Messi’s attempt was hacked out of the goalmouth by Stefano Sturaro, but only as far as Rakitic, who converted left-footed.
Suarez side-footed over from an Alba cross before Messi continued to torment increasingly bedraggled foes.
Andres Iniesta served as the familiar and ever-reliable supply line and, as Dembele’s run across the Juve defence added to their confusion, Messi scooted inside Alex Sandro and smashed past a helpless Buffon.
Suarez had a fourth disallowed, the linesman’s flag sparing a Buffon fumble, while Juve’s cries for handball against Pique fell on deaf ears when he cleared Benatia’s header off the line. It summed up a fruitless endeavour for Massimiliano Allegri’s men.
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