Juventus 0 Barcelona 2 – Messi and Dembele seal Barca win
UEFA Champions’ League Group G – Juventus vs Barcelona – Wednesday, 28 October 2020 – Matchday 2 of 6 report
Juventus 0 Barcelona 2
Catalan giants Barcelona continued to defy the club’s turmoil off the pitch when they registered their second successive Group win by humbling Serie A champions Juventus 0-2 away in Turin.
It’s been a tumultuous time for the La Liga outfit, going down 1-3 to Real Madrid in a El Classico clash on Saturday before the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the entire board stepped a day before the Turin outing.
Juventus were without Cristiano Ronaldo, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 13, meaning a matchup pitting the Portuguese against Lionel Messi for the first time since 2018 would have to wait until at least the second group encounter.
The Spanish visitors were immediately on the front foot as Antoine Griezmann hit the post within 3 minutes of the start of play. They got the opener under fortuitous circumstances, when Ousmane Dembele homed in onto a brilliant long pass from Messi pass, dribbled past two defenders and took a shot.
His attempt looped up off Federico Chiesa and sailed in, giving Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny no chance. 1-0 to Barca in the 14th minute.
Juventus thought they had equalized when Alvaro Morata slid in to beat Neto and bundle the ball home, but he was declared offside prior to the move. The ex-Chelsea striker was denied again in similar fashion a few minutes later, while tucking in a Juan Cuadrado cross only to see the flag go up.
The hosts could have gone down by a couple more before the interval when Jordi Alba wildly slashed his shot wide of the near post, before Messi played in Dembele for one more opportunity which the Frenchman missed.
The game became an end-to-end affair after the break as Morata astonishingly had a third attempt ruled offside following a long VAR check after he had crammed in Cuadrado’s volley from close range.
Dejan Kuvaleski and Adrien Rabiot came close for Juve but their shots were off target. Seventeen-year old Pedri was denied a second Champions League goal from his two outings when his effort was thwarted by a brilliant block from Danilo who produced an excellent tackle to dispossess a goalbound Messi a little later.
Griezmann whizzed a shot wide of the far post as the Catalans mounted pressure for a second, their task being made easier when Demiral was sent off for a second yellow card after an infringement on Sergio Busquets.
Juventus facilitated the goal that shut them out when Federico Bernardeschi needlessly bundled into the back of Ansu Fati inside the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Messi converted the penalty to make it 0-2 for his side in the 91st minute. Teenager Fati could have scored a third one but inexplicably opted to pass to Messi with an empty goal gaping at him.
The Turin win catapulted Barcelona to the top of Group G, 3 points ahead of Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv. Barcelona who have been poor by their own high standards so far this season, showed glimpses of their old self at Turin with Lionel Messi at the heart of the best moves.
They could have won by a greater margin at Turin against a Juventus side that really lacked the killer bite without the talismanic Ronaldo.
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