Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and Ronald Koeman shared a moment after the team’s 2-0 Champions League win over Juventus on Wednesday in Turin.
The Catalan giants shrugged off the disappointment of the weekend’s Clasico defeat to Real Madrid by picking up all three points against the Serie A champions to make it two wins out of two in Europe’s top competition.
Photographers captured Messi embracing his manager after the full-time whistle at the Allianz Stadium.
There’s been plenty of debate about Messi’s relationship with Koeman since the Dutchman took charge in August, particularly as the captain tried to leave the club in the summer and will be out of contract at the end of the season.
Messi set up Dembele for the opening goal of the match after just 14 minutes with a brilliant crossfield pass. The Argentina international then bagged the second from the penalty spot in stoppage time.
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Messi Shines in Turin
The Barcelona captain’s form was questioned going into the match, as the 33-year-old has not scored from open play this season. Yet Messi went on to put in an impressive performance, only misplacing four of his passes throughout the 90 minutes.
The Argentine was also superb on the ball and was the most creative player on the pitch, as highlighted by Squawka Football.
Messi’s goal was his third of the season and relieves some of the pressure on the team and manager Koeman after an inconsistent start to the season. The team now returns to Spain ahead of Saturday’s La Liga clash with Alaves.
Koeman Happy with Barcelona Win
Koeman offered his thoughts after the match and made it clear he was happy to pick up all three points against Juventus. Yet the Dutch coach also felt his team could have won by a bigger margin, as reported by Marca.
I think it is always important, when we play well, to create opportunities. We have been superior, we were always able to reach the free man in midfield. We had depth, it was a fair result.
The only thing we lacked today is to sentence the game much earlier. We have had many shots, very clear chances to score more goals but I have to admit that, in the case of Griezmann for example, it was bad luck. The team has shown a lot of personality and have a lot of faith. The victory belongs to the whole team.
Striker Antoine Griezmann was restored to the starting lineup after starting the last two games on the bench and was a little unfortunate not to open his account for the season.
The Frenchman smashed a shot against the post in the opening minutes of the match and fired another shot narrowly wide in the second half. After a slow start to the season it was an improved performance by the Frenchman, although question marks still remain over whether the World Cup winner can go on and be a hit at Barca.