Barcelona will be unseeded in Monday’s UCL Round of 16 draws after surrendering top spot in Group G to Juventus.
Ronaldo and Juventus came out tops in the battle for first place in Group G. After falling to a 2-0 defeat in Turin back in October, the old ladies got the job done away from home by beating Barcelona 3-0 in their own backyard. Both teams finished the group stage level on 15 points apiece, but Juventus edges the Catalonians with a superior head to head record. Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot either side of Weston McKennie’s stunning bicycle kick, while Lionel Messi was left frustrated by Juve’s veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon – the 42 year old Italian equal to all of Messi’s 7 shots on target during the match.
Barcelona: The Blaugrana started with first choice goalie, ter Stegen, with Ronald Araujo and Lenglet partnering as central defenders. Jordi Alba and Dest were the full backs for Ronald Koeman’s men who had former Juventus midfielder Pjanic in the middle of the park alongside Frenkie de Jong. Messi occupied the number 10 role, flanked by Trincão and Pedri, while Griezmann spearheaded the attack. Formation: 4-2-3-1 Juventus: Evergreen Buffon kept the sticks for the Old Ladies, while Danilo and de Ligt sat either side of Bonucci in central defense, with Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro playing as wingbacks. Weston McKennie, Arthur, and Aaron Ramsey occupied the midfield with a double pivot forward of Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo. Formation: 3-5-2.
Barcelona 0-3 Juventus; Ronaldo bests Messi
Lots of attention was given to this match as it marked the renewal of a long standing rivalry between two greats, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. In what is their first meeting since 2018, it was Ronaldo who came out tops on the night, scoring 2 goals in an intriguing contest to help his side secure top spot ahead of Barca. It was the first time since 2007/2008 that Barcelona has failed to finish as Group winners in the Champions League. Juventus took an early lead courtesy of Ronaldo’s 13th minute penalty after he was brought down in the box. The Portuguese captain dusted himself and in trademark style, sent Stegen the wrong way with a thunderous penalty, which he celebrated with a matching thunderous “shii celebration” that echoed round the largely empty Camp Nou.
Weston McKennie doubled Juventus’ lead 7 minutes later with a stunning bicycle kick past the reach of Stegen. Although Barca fought back and had the lion share of the chances, particularly through their main man Messi, each of his attempts on target was met by a spirited Buffon in goal for Juventus -the 42 year old swapping shirts with Messi after the game. Leading 2-0 at halftime, Juventus who lost 2-0 to Barca in the Turin first leg knew that they had to score more to ensure oust their counterparts and they did just that in the second half through another Ronaldo penalty. The referee awarded Juve a penalty for a Lenglet handball in the box and the Champions League all time top scorer stepped up to extend his sides lead to 3-0.
Juventus keeps their promise
When Barcelona won 2-0 in the reverse fixture, Juventus were without their star man Cristiano who was out with the ‘rona virus. Barca had trolled the Old Ladies on Twitter, posting a picture of Messi, tagging it “We are glad you were able to see the 🐐 on your pitch” to which Juventus responded ” You probably looked it up in the wrong dictionary. We’ll bring you the right one at Camp Nou 🔍📖”
You probably looked it up in the wrong dictionary. We’ll bring you the right one at Camp Nou 🔍📖
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 28, 2020
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 8, 2020