Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele combined to great effect to give Barcelona the lead in their Champions League group stage match against Juventus on Wednesday in Turin.
The Barcelona captain got things moving by spraying a brilliant crossfield pass over to Dembele on the right side of the pitch. Dembele then dribbled the ball to the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a shot that took a deflection and looped into the top corner.
It was the perfect start to the match for Barcelona who took on Juventus on the back of disappointing league defeats to Getafe and Real Madrid. Ronald Koeman’s side almost scored in the opening minutes of the match but Antoine Griezmann was denied by the woodwork.
Meanwhile, the goal was Dembele’s second of the 2020-21 season. The Frenchman also scored in the 5-1 win over Ferencvaros in the opening group game after coming on as a second-half substitute.
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Koeman Makes Changes For Juventus
Manager Ronald Koeman made plenty of changes to his team after the defeat in El Clasico. The Dutch coach brought Griezmann, Dembele, Sergi Roberto, Miralem Pjanic, and Ronald Araujo into his team for the clash with Juventus.
Gerard Pique dropped out through suspension, while Philippe Coutinho missed the trip due to injury. Sergio Busquets, Sergino Dest, and Ansu Fati all dropped down to the bench.
Perhaps surprisingly Koeman opted to keep faith with 17-year-old Pedri in midfield. The teenager, who only arrived at the club in the summer from Las Palmas, has featured in every game Barca has played so far in 2020-21.
No Ronaldo For Juventus
Juventus was without Cristiano Ronaldo again for the visit of Barcelona. The Portugal international was ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19 before the game. Ronaldo vented his frustration at missing the match on social media, as reported by AS.
The 35-year-old still took time out to send a message to his team-mates ahead of kick-off at the Allianz Stadium.
Juventus was also without injured captain Giorgio Chiellini, although Leonardo Bonucci was fit to start after picking up a minor injury in the Serie A draw against Verona. Former Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo had to settle for a place on the bench.
The Serie A side did manage to get the ball in the back of the net through Alvaro Morata shortly after Dembele had opened the scoring only to see it correctly chalked off for offside.