The UEFA Champions League continued last night with a whole host of fascinating games across the continent. The biggest of them all, though, almost certainly took place in Turin as Juventus were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona.
In the wake of the full time whistle blowing, we’ve decided to take a look at a few things we’ve come to learn about both clubs.
Barca are back?
Ronald Koeman isn’t going to be the one man that turns this great club around because we’ve already seen the issues that he’s had since arriving at the club. Still, this was the sort of performance that helps to put some confidence back into the operation that’s going on under his guidance. They aren’t going to be world beaters in the blink of an eye but they have poise and they have some fight, and that’s really all you can ask for at this stage.
No Ronaldo helped Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t present for his highly anticipated reunion with Lionel Messi and in the end, that did seem to help the Argentine – in one way or another. He put in a masterclass of a performance and topped it off with a goal in injury time, during a week that was the definition of complicated for him. Hsi future may or may not rest at the Nou Camp from now on but either way, he seems to be in a great place for the first time in a long time.
Long road ahead
There’s a long road ahead for both Juventus and Barcelona for two very different reasons. Sure, Barca are 11/1 and Juve are 15/1 to win the Champions League, but there’s an awful lot of work to do. The likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich are still running the show in a big way in Europe and we’d probably even suggest that Real Madrid are at the top of the list, too. Juve and Bara were once viewed as the ultimate superpowers of European football and even played each other in the final five years ago, but the game has moved on since then, and they need to catch up.
Juventus: Szczesny (6), Danilo (7), Bonucci (6.5), Demiral (4.5), Cuadrado (6.5), Rabiot (7), Bentacur (6), Chiesa (6), Dybala (6), Kulusevski (6.5), Morata (7), McKennie (6), Bernardeschi (5.5), Arthur (6)
Barcelona: Neto (6.5) Roberto (7.5), Araujo (6.5), Lenglet (7.5), Alba (7), Pjanic (7), de Jong (7), Dembele (8), Messi (8.5), Pedri (7.5), Griezmann (7), Fati (6.5), Busquets (6), Firpo (6), Braithwaite (6)
Referee: Danny Makkelie
Goals: Dembele, Messi
Yellow Cards: Demiral x2, Cuadrado, Rabiot, Kulusevski, Roberto
Red Cards: Demiral