This game was a much awaited one for the football fans as the ‘GOATs’ faced each other almost after 2 years and probably for one last time. The match ended up 3-0 to Juventus.
Two penalty kicks from Cristiano Ronaldo and Weston McKennnie’s picture perfect volley allowed Juventus to beat FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night. Consequently, they leapfrogged the Spanish giants in Group G on the final day of the Champions League group stage. Barcelona, came into the game as the table toppers in Group G also winning the reverse fixture in October. However, they had to settle for the runners-ups spot in the group.
Goalkeeper : ter Stegen
Defense : Alba (Firpo – 55′), Lenglet (Umtiti – 55′), Araujo (Oscar – 82′), Dest
Midfield : de Jong, Pjanic, Pedri (Puig -66′), Messi, Trincao (Brathwaite – 45′)
Attack : Greizmann
Goalkeeper : Buffon
Defense : de Ligt, Bonucci, Danilo
Midfield : Sandro, Ramsey (Rabiot – 71′), Arthur (Bentancur – 71′), McKennie, Cuadrado (Bernardeschi – 85′)
Attack : Ronaldo (Chiesa – 90+2′), Morata (Dybala – 85′)
Juventus started the game with too much intensity, constantly creating threat in the Barca box on the early minutes and got rewarded just in the 12 th minute in the form of a penalty after Araujo dragging down Ronaldo inside the box. Ronaldo making no mistake from the spot and the Bianconeri had a statement very early in the game.
Juventus then doubled their lead in the 20th minute as Weston McKennie scored a brilliant acrobatic goal from Cuadrado’s cross. Koeman’s men then enjoyed sustained spells of possession and had some chances to score in the first half. However, Buffon stood tall to deny Messi and co a go.
Barca introduced inform Martin Brathwaite immediately in the second half, but that wasn’t enough for them to rescue atleast a point from the fixture. Juventus made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute from another Ronaldo spot kick. Clement Lenglet was the culprit this time as the ball struck his hand from inside the box. Ronaldo sends ter Stegen to the wrong way this time and he becomes the player to score most number of goals against Barcelona.
Barcelona made some strong attacks in the second half and the best among them came in the 58th minute as Greizmann’s header hits the crossbar. Juve then had a goal disallowed and Barca had a penalty ruled out both after consulting the VAR. Barca created back to back threats in the Juve box but the veteran custodian was not willing to spoil his clean sheet.
Juventus performed the perfect away performance not only to win but also to qualify the winners of Group G. After going 2-0 at half time, Courtesy of Cristiano’s Spotkick and McKennie’s stunner, Pirlo’s boys then extended their lead in the second half, courtesy of another Ronaldo penalty. Barcelona regularly tested Buffon, but failed to break the Juventus ‘ regimented defense.
Barca will enter the round of 16 unseeded as the Italian side snatched the group topper’s spot. Now, both teams will look with eager eyes to Monday’s draw for next stages of Champions League.
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