Today, FC Barcelona faces Juventus in the last game of the group stages. Despite the fact that the Catalans are already through to the round of 16 after winning every game so far in the group stages of the competition, the game against Juventus has iconic importance due to the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry.
Barcelona came into this game after a terrible loss against Cadiz. In the Champions League, the Catalans have been brilliant, and they need to beat Juventus to get their confidence back. Ronald Koeman decided to go with a perfect lineup… On paper, at least.
The Old Lady suffocated their opponent from the start. Cristiano Ronaldo was everywhere in the beginning and won a soft penalty after a clash with Ronald Araujo. The Portuguese legend converted his spot-kick and put his team in front. After the visitors opened the scoring, Weston Mckennie connected really well with a cross from Juan Cuadrado. The American volleyed the ball in the top corner right in front Marc-André Ter Stegen.
There were no chances of note from the locals other than two shots from Lionel Messi which landed in Gianluigi Buffon’s gloves. The whole half was stale for the out-of-form giants. They were thoroughly outplayed and got a taste of their own medicine after playing their opponents off the park in the reverse fixture.
Koeman’s team talk at half-time will be interesting. On paper, his side should dominate the game, but perhaps the morale is so low at Camp Nou that they cannot keep their heads above water. Let’s see a different Barça after the half, especially if they want to keep their position.
First-half score: Barcelona 0-2 Juventus