Juventus-Barcelona International Champions Cup (ICC) 2017: Goals, action, match report
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Juventus 1-2 Barcelona: report
Barcelona and Juventus kicked off their preseason in New York on Saturday. In a game that was meant to be filled with tension over Neymar's future, he lit the MetLife up in the first half with two goals and a wonderful performance that had Juventus frustrated and Barcelona delighted in equal measure.
The game was only 15 minutes old when he had his first after good work involving Messi and Digne but it was all Neymar, really, as he drove past Buffon to give Valverde his first lead as a Barcelona coach.
Just 11 minutes later, Neymar topped his first goal when he skipped past no less than four Juventus defenders and drove another shot, to the other corner this time, beyond Buffon as he doubled Barcelona's lead and showed Barca's directors what they could be missing should he leave the club this summer.
He was turning on the style and Juve were not keen on being on the recieving end of a Neymar masterclass as they continued to pull him down any time he touched the ball, and even sometimes when he didn't. As half-time arrived, Barcelona were well in control of an opening 45 that saw them work extremely hard as they pressed Juventus relentlessly.
Both managers made numerous changes to their teams to start the second half but it wasn't until the 60th minutes when Cuadrado, Higuain, Sandro, Costa and Dybala were sprung from the bench that they had a fighting chance.
Just three minutes after the change, Juventus had a breakthough. It came after Dybala won a corner after he forced Ortola into a wonderful save. Chiellini drove a header home from the corner and Juve had life in them yet.
It was as close as they would come to troubling Barcelona's lead, however, as Luis Suarez and Arda Turan teamed up on numerous occasions but failed to beat Szczesny in his debut for the Serie A champions. The game served as a good run-out for both teams as we will see massive improvement over the next couple of games as their preseasons kick into gear starting Saturday night in New York.
Juventus vs Barcelona live stream online: latest news
Juventus vs Barcelona live stream online: match preview
Juve and Barça kick off their pre-season fixtures with an ICC clash that is their first meeting since a one-sided Champions League quarter-final in April.
That tie saw Neymar left in tears on the Camp Nou pitch after the LaLiga side had been comprehensively dispatched 3-0 on aggregate by Massimiliano Allegri's men.
Last season's domestic double winners, who go into their fourth campaign under Allegri, prepare for their first outing since June's painful 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Juve's European heartbreak was their second at that stage in three years, having lost the 2015 trophy decider against their upcoming opponents in New Jersey.
The Bianconeri have new signings Mattia De Sciglio, Douglas Costa, Rodrigo Bentancur and Wojciech Szczesny in their squad in the USA, but have also lost major figures.
First Dani Alves joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free after just one season in Turin, before Leonardo Bonucci, one third of their fabled defensive 'BBC', became the latest player to join big-spending AC Milan a week ago.
After Barça, Juventus face ICC match-ups with Paris Saint-Germain and Roma in Miami and Foxborough.
Barcelona begin life under new boss Ernesto Valverde, who replaced Luis Enrique at the end of a 2016/17 season that brought victory in the Copa del Rey but disappointment in LaLiga and, as mentioned above, in the Champions League.
So far, the summer transfer window has been equally underwhelming, with just the two major signings arriving in the shape of right-back Nelson Semedo and returning winger Gerard Deulofeu.
And it's a window that could get worse for Los Azulgranas if, as mounting speculation suggests he might, Neymar really does seal a sensational switch to PSG.
Only Marc-André ter Stegen and André Gomes are missing from the group in the US, having featured at this summer's Confederations Cup for Germany and Portugal, respectively.
After coming up against Juve, Barça have further box-office ICC clashes in prospect against Manchester United - and, most notably, arch rivals Real Madrid.
Juventus vs Barcelona: possible line-ups
Juventus XI: Buffon; De Sciglio, Chiellini, Lemina, Alex Sandro; Kedhira, Marchisio, Pjanic; Dybala, Mandzukic, Higuaín.
Head coach: Massimiliano Allegri
Barcelona XI: Cillessen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Arda Turan.
Head coach: Ernesto Valverde
Juventus vs Barcelona live stream online: betting
Despite being deservedly dumped out of Europe on the most recent occasion they faced off against Juventus, Barcelona are the bookies' favourites to take the spoils at MetLife Stadium. Valverde's men are priced at 6/5 to win, with Juve only slightly further back at 2/1.
Place your bet on Juventus vs Barcelona now.
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