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With top spot in Group G still to be decided, Tuesday night’s game began at a frantic pace with both sides on the front foot from the first whistle. Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanić both started against their old employers and were heavily involved in the opening exchanges.
Cristiano Ronaldo, on his return to the Camp Nou, had the first shot on target on seven minutes, and the Portuguese opened the scoring from the penalty spot four minutes later when Ronald Araujo was harshly adjudged to have brought him down in the penalty area.
Barça began to move the ball left and right, looking to open up a tightly-packed bianconeri defence, and though they were beginning to gain some success, Juve struck again, Weston McKennie doubling their lead with a volley.
Lionel Messi’s long-range effort on 21 was on target and only the outstretched fingertips of Gigi Buffon stopped the blaugranes from pulling a goal back. Pjanić also saw a shot fizz just over, as the hosts looked to apply more pressure, and the Alba/Messi connection almost clicked with Buffon again equal to the No.10’s low drive.
In the latter stages of the half Juve were reduced to occasional counter attacks, with Barça unlucky not to be awarded a penalty of their own after McKennie upended Messi. Martin Braithwaite for Trincão was the only half-time change, and the Dane was immediately involved as Barça began the second-half as they ended the first.
On 47, Messi could only find Buffon once more for a hat-trick of saves, and almost immediately after a sensational save from Marc-André ter Stegen, a VAR check ruled that Clément Lenglet, on his 100th appearance for the club, had handled. Juventus were awarded another penalty which Ronaldo scored, and that saw Ronald Koeman react by bringing on both Junior Firpo and Samuel Umtiti for Alba and Lenglet respectively.
Antoine Griezmann’s glancing header rattled the top of the crossbar on 57, the hosts knowing that one goal would change the dynamic of the game entirely. The pattern continued with Barça making the running and Juve looking to take advantage of any loose balls. Riqui Puig got involved as soon as he’d come on for Pedri in the 65th minute, giving Andrea Pirlo’s side more to consider.
Griezmann thought he had won a penalty for Barça with 18 to play but was adjudged to be offside, whilst Leonardo Bonucci had a goal ruled out, also for offside, a minute later. Messi had a couple more chances saved late on in an all-action end to the game.
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