Dembélé and Messi preserve Barcelona’s 100% record
Juventus 0-2 Barcelona
An early goal from Ousmane Dembele and a late Lionel Messi penalty gave Barcelona a 2-0 win away to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday after Alvaro Morata had three goals disallowed for offside for the Serie A side.
Dembele struck with a deflected shot in the 14th minute for a Barcelona side smarting from Saturday's home defeat by Real Madrid and rocked by the resignation of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Tuesday.
Juventus, still missing Cristiano Ronaldo after he tested positive for covid-19 two weeks ago, were frustrated as Morata had two goals disallowed in the first half and a third after halftime when VAR showed that his heel was offside.
Juve's frustration was complete as defender Merih Demiral was sent off in the 85th minute and Messi settled the match with a stoppage-time penalty to leave Barcelona top of Group G with six points and Juventus on three.
Koeman's post-match thoughts
"We've put the whole Bartomeu issue behind us" - Sergi Roberto
The Barcelona player gave his thoughts on the team's performance in Turin: "What fans want is for the team to win games and that is what we've been doing. We gave the best possible reply tonight".
Is that the FC Barcelona social media manager having a pop at Juventus and a certain Portuguese striker ?
Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo post match: "Barcelona are further along as a side in terms of their construction and I really hope to have some of my regular players back soon".
Juve's Danilo speaking on Sky Italia: "We were not aggressive enough. If we want to compete on all fronts this season we need to take a collective step forward".
That lethal left foot. The moment when Lionel Messi slotted home the late spot kick to make it 0-2 on the night for FC Barcelona in Turin.
Koeman post match: "We were superior and showed plenty of personality against one of the top sides in European football"
Lovely post game touch from Ansu Fati as he gives one of the ball boys his shirt and poses for post game pictures.
Many reports attributing Barcelona's bright and positive display to the resignation of JM Bartomeu.... Possibly some glimmer of truth in there somewhere but it's certainly fair to say that we saw a very different FC Barcelona from the one that played out the 1-3 loss on Saturday.
17-year-old Pedri gets the vote of AS English man of the match with a superb performance from the teenager
The game in the Hungarian capital finished level with Barcelona's next game against the side from Ukraine with Juve facing Ferencvaros in Budapest next week.
Here's the scoreboard from the other matchday 2 games taking place tonight. Plenty of goals at Old Trafford !
Possibly the finest performance from Barcelona under Ronald Koeman with his side solid at the back and good going forward with the first 45 minutes particularly impressive.
The whistle sound in Turin and it's the side in Palerrmo inspired pink and black that seal the win.
First UCL home game for Pirlo set to end in defeat. Far from the start that many Juve fans hoped for with the former player on the bench.
We'll have five minutes of time added on
Pedri off/Braithwaite on for FCB
Messi to take
One feels that Juve have given all they have and realise that it's simply not their night as FCB win a penalty after Bernandeschi collides with Ansu Fati.
Griezmann off and Firpo his replacement.
Barcelona face Alaves away this weekend with Juventus facing Serie A new boys Spezia.
Barcelona now in game management mode as the make Juve chase the ball as the clock ticks down. Whilst the game has been far from one sided, this has been a fine display from Ronald Koeman's men.
Second card for Demiral who clips Pjanic and gets his marching orders. Juve now on ten men for the remaining 5 minutes plus stoppage time.
Sporting display from Morata as he kicks the ball out of player after a collission with Pjanic.
Betancur off and Arthur comes on to face his former side.
Pedri steals the ball from Dybala with the 17-year-old the star of the show tonight in Turin. A solid and mature display from the teenager.
4 cards for Juve players now with Sergi Roberto the only FCB player on a booking.
Rabiot carded as he hauls Messi back
McKennie breaks to the edge of the Barcelona box but fails to secure any accuracy on the shot and the ball sails wide.
Barcelona once again attempt another intricate link-up as the move breaks down after Griezmann looks for Messi.
McKennie on for Dejan Kulusevski
Cuadrado carded for a dive in the box with the Colombian angling for a spot kick.
Great work from Messi and just as the Argentine was poised to strike, Danilo makes a key intervention to deny the No. 10.
Possession: Juve 49% v 51% FCB
Less than 20' remaining in Turin and this half is still interesting with the match finely poiused albeit not as high octane as the first 45 minutes.
Demiral carded for hacking Messi
Juve go close as Dejan Kulusevski leans back and gets under the ball. No problem for Neto in the FCB goal.
Ferencavaros have pulled one back in their Group G game in Budapest. Ferencvaros 1-2 D.Kiev
Dembele makes way and Fati is his replacement
Dembele set to make way for the teenager?
Ansu Fati getting final instructions from Koeman and poised to make an entrance.
Messi to Pedro and it takes a Danilo deflection to save the home side. Pedri once again disoplaying wonderful talent.
Pedri skins Cuadrado and the ball falls to Dembele who fails to find the target. Barcelona pressing again as they look for a second. What a talent the 17-year-old Barcelona player is !!!
Passes completed: Juve 292 - 411 FCB
Sergi Roberto into the book for a lunge on Chiesa.
Offside awarded for Juve with Morata's ankle ahead of the defender. The third time Juve have had the ball in the opposition goal... 0-1 it remains.
.... and the verdict is no goal.
Chiesa to Cuadrado and finished by the Spaniard. Fine finish from the Juve striker but the goal is being checked by VAR
Morata fires the home side level ........ Goooooool for Juve
Fine build-up play once again from the men in pink with Dembele and Messi at the heart of all the positive play for the Catalan side.
The No. 10 rifles the ball at the target and it takes a Morata header to clear the danger.
Lenglet earns a valuable free kick for his side with some nice individual skill. Messi to float the ball into the Juve box.
Messi and Dembele link up well but the Argentine overhits the final ball. Barcelona still fizzing the ball well with plenty of poise and purpose.
Betancur has an effort from long range but the ball was always rising.
Busquets is a half time substitute with the veteran midfielder on for Araujo.
Players are on the pitch and we're seconds away from the restart. Juve to get the action underway.
Here's the match-day 2 half-time scoreboard from tonight's other action.
Whilst he may not be as mobile on the pitch as he once was, Juve could do with this man tonight.
FC Barcelona players celebrate Dembele's 14th minute strike.
That's the end of the first half with the Catalan side ahead in Turin through a defelceted Dembele effort.
Dejan Kulusevski is carded for a follow through on Alba
Danilo has a speculative long range effort but the Brazilian fires high and wide.
Final minute of the half and we'll have 2 minutes of added time.
D. Kiev are currently 0-2 ahead in Budapest.
It is, however expected that both Barça and Juve will progress from Group G with both sides too strong for Ferencvaros and Dynamo Kiev. The head-to-head matches between the LaLiga and Serie A sides will be instrumental in determining who tops the group however.
It's now Barcelona who are enjoying the bulk of the ball moving it from one side of the pitch to the other trying to pull the Juve defenders out of position.
Messi gets clipped and rolls to the ground. The Argentine gets sheepishly to his feet and seems ok to carry on.
Dembele goes close but the ball is smothered, the Frenchman passes to Griezmann who is wrong footed and Juve avert the danger.
What confidence from 17-year-old Pedri as he pulls off a neat drag back deep inside his own half. This really is a solid and impressive display from the side pink.
Jordi Alba is free at the back post and lashes a left foot drive but his effort is well wide.
Sustained pressure from the home side now as the pen the visitors back deep inside their own half.
The ball is in the Barcelona net again as Morata latches on to a Cuadrado assist. Flag was immediately raised as the Spaniard was offside.
Possession on the 30' mark: Juve 44-56 Barcelona (%)
We've seen little or nothing from Chiesa this evening. Just as I say that the winger picks up the ball but fires a tame shot straight at Neto.
Barça playing with an added zest tonight. The best 25' from the Catalan side this season under Koeman ....very possibly.
Both Pjanic and Neto facing their old side tonight as Griezmann and Messi link wonderfully well and the No. 10 just pulls his shot wide.
Cuadrado getting a burst of the old magic Deep Heat spray on his thigh after that recent tangle with Alba.
A bright opening stage here in Turin with both sides creating chances, Barcelona looking much more alert compared to the side we saw in action last Saturday in El Clasico.
Jordi Alba and Cuadrado having a right old ding-dong on the right flank as the Colombian is hacked by the Barcelona man.
Morata has the ball in the net for the home side but the goal is flagged off for a handball. VAR being consulted to verify the ruled out goal and confirmation that the strike doesn't stand. As we were 0-1.
Goooooooooooooooooooooool FC Barcelona take the lead as Dembele's shot gets a deflection and loops into the corner of the Juve net.
Messi is very active already tonight ....recent games have seen the Argentine drop off at roughly the 65 minute mark and the Argentine will look for the likes of Griezmann and Dembele to step up to the plate.
Good from Barcelona as Messi and Jordi Alba link up well and force a corner for Koeman's side.
Just trying to imagine what the noise levels would be like here in Turin with 40,000 plus tifosi screaming their heads off....
Somewhat admirable is Barcelona's reluctance to whack the ball away from their goal mouth when under pressure. Highly principled as the Catalan side play their way out of danger.
First free kick of the night as Araujo leads with his elbow and the Dutch referee is quick to whistle.
Sorry to bang on about the kits again ....but .... the Barcelona pink kit is not a million miles away from the Juve predominantly white kit and surprised that UEFA let these colours go ahead given the clear clash that one can see.
Barcelona very quick out of the traps here in Turin with Juve stuttering.
Pirlo's last game with Juve came in that 2015 Berlin final when the Italians lost to Barcelona. Pjanic goes close for the visitors as both Messi and Griezmann go close with the French striker hitting the post.
It's the visitors who will get us underway at an empty arena here in Turin.
Warm embrace from Messi and Dybala in the tunnel at the Juventus Stadium as both sides take to the field.
Juve will wear their iconic black & white stripes tonight with the visitors in their change kit of pink and green....why they can't wear their claret and navy shirt is beyond me ..... actually I do know ... replica shirts need to be sold !
- 1 Szczesny
- 13 Danilo
- 28 Merih Demiral
- 16 Cuadrado
- 19 Bonucci
- 30 Rodrigo Bentancur
- 22 Federico Chiesa
- 10 Paulo Dybala
- 44 Dejan Kulusevski
- 25 Rabiot
- 9 Morata
- 13 Neto
- 20 Sergi Roberto
- 4 Ronald Araújo
- 18 Alba
- 15 Clement Lenglet
- 10 Messi
- 16 Pedri
- 8 Pjanić
- 21 Frenkie De Jong
- 11 Ousmane Dembélé
- 7 Griezmann
If you're just joining us, let us remind you of the starting XIs for tonight's action:
What can we expect from Leo Messi tonight? Will he play in a more free flowing manner in the knowledge that the Bartomeu regime is now over. To be frank, the Argentine has been cutting a glum figure on the pitch this season. Will we see the smile back on his face this evening?
Barcelona have their easy win over Hungarian champions Ferencvaros sandwiched between two losses with early doubts starting to arise about new coach Koeman.
Juve coming in to the game on the back of two domestic draws against opposition they would be expected to beat, sandwiched with the 0-2 win in Kiev last week in the Champions League group stage opener.
The teams are now out on warming up the pitch at the Allianz Stadium which reverts to its original Juventus Stadium for UEFA games due to sponsorship regulations. A nippy 9C/48F in Turin tonight.
Both managers fielding teams with plenty of attacking option, following his screamer against Hellas Verona at the weekend Kulusevski starts alongside Chiesa, Morata and Dybala.
Dembele gets a start for Barcelona and the Frenchman will be assisted in attacking duties by Leo Messi and Griezmann.
Ferencvaros and Dinamo Kiev also kicking off tonight at 21:00 CET.
Here's how Group G looks ahead of tonight's action:
Tonight's game being staged very much under the shadow of Josep Bartomeu's exit from the Catalan club last night with the now former president and his board standing down rather than face a vote of no confidence.
These sides have met on the European stage on 11 occasions with Barcelona shading things with 4 wins. Juve have won on 3 occasions with 4 draws between both sides.
Both teams come into the game following poor weekend results. Juve had to find a late equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw at home to Hellas Verona with the Catalan side falling at home in El Clasico to eternal rivals Real Madrid.
Dutch official Danny Makkelie will be the man in the middle for tonight's action
The other major news of the day affecting these two European giants is the news (broken by outgoing Barcelona president Bartomeu in his exit speech) about a new European Super League which is to be an independent NBA-esque 18 team style competition with final play-offs in one venue and backed by JP Morgan bank.
Portuguese striker Ronaldo was making the news ahead of the tie with a positive PCR test ruling the striker out of tonight's game. The Juve forward aired his disappointment on social media.
Kick-off at the Allianz Stadiium is at 21:00 CET in what is set to be a repeat of the 2015 Berlin UCL final when the Catalan side won out on the night.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage from Turin as Juventus welcome FC Barcelona.