This is more like it. Barcelona pulled out maybe the best performance of the Ronald Koeman era to date to score an impressive away win on the road at Juventus.
Szczesny, Cuadrado, Bonucci, Demiral, Danilo, Kulusevski (McKennie, 75'), Bentancur (Arthur, 82'), Rabiot (Bernardeschi, 82'), Chiesa, Dybala y Morata
Neto, Sergi Roberto, Araujo (Busquets, 45'), Lenglet, Alba, De Jong, Pjanic, Pedri (Braithwaite, 92'). Dembélé (Fati, 65'), Griezmann (Junior, 88') y Messi
0-1 M. 14 Dembélé. 0-2 M.90 Messi (p).
Danny Makkelie (Holanda). T.R.: Demiral (85') T.A.: Kulusevski (45'), Demiral (70', 85'), Cuadrado (74'), Rabiot (78') / S. Roberto (60')
Juventus Stadium. Sin espectadores.
Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi got the goals, midfielder Pedri shone at only 17 and there could have been more, too. Antoine Griezmann hit the post and missed some big chances, Messi was denied by Wojciech Szczesny, and Jordi Alba fired wide when he should have found the net.
Koeman rested Ansu Fati and Sergio Busquets, with Griezmann and Miralem Pjanic brought in, while Dembele replaced the injured Philippe Coutinho.
The Catalans started quickly and took the lead inside 14 minutes. Dembele controlled a stunning Messi pass and fired home from the edge of the box with the help of a deflection which looped the ball in at the far post.
The chances kept coming for the Catalans, while Alvaro Morata was dangerous for Juve. In fact, he had the ball in the net three times. Each time he was offside though.
At the other end a fine breakaway was ended when Griezmann tried to pass - it looked like - instead of shoot after Dembele had an effort saved and nudged it back to his compatriot. Things aren’t clicking for Antoine, as was reflected by another shot in the second half that just inched beyond the far post.
Eventually Barcelona got the second they deserved when Fati was fouled and Messi dispatched the penalty, celebrating like a man who is rid of a president whom he had fallen out with.
A word for Pedri, who was sublime, and Ansu, bright after coming on but guilty of a bad miss at the end. He should have shot, but didn’t, instead trying to feed Braithwaite unselfishly and overcooking the ball. There’s plenty of time for things to improve though. A new era is beginning.