Colossal Messi dismatles Juventus | Quick Reaction and Player Ratings

Barcelona were deserved winners against Juventus in Match 1 of the Champions League Group D. As seems to be the case in recent times, Lionel Messi decided to step up when his team needed him the most and delivered yet another performance to remember -- beating legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for the first time in his career in the process.

The match was tough and well-fought during the first half, with the battle for controlling the midfield taking centre-stage. The much-improved Barcelona midfield, with Ivan Rakitic stepping up in style once again, always had the upper hand in terms of possession but weren't always able to break through Juve's highly-populated back-line -- mostly due to either inaccurate final passes or slightly clumsy first touches when in advantageous positions.

Messi's superbly placed strike seconds before the half-time whistle changed the game. With Juventus being forced to push forward slightly more after the break, the Catalans were inevitably granted much-needed spaces for their talented forwards to exploit. The rest, as they say, is history: Messi used his magic to close the game by causing the mayhem that Rakitic took advantage of for Barca's second, then adding yet another goal to his impressive personal tally.

Match Stats:

Here are Francesc Tomas' Player Ratings:

Ter Stegen - 7
Semedo - 8
Umtiti - 7
Pique - 7
Alba - 8
Busquets - 8
Rakitic - 8
Iniesta - 8
Dembele - 7
Suarez - 7
Messi - 9

Sergi Roberto - 6
Paulinho - 6
Gomes - 6

Want more Barca? In Episode 32 of The Barcelona Podcast, we discuss Valverde's tactics and improvements, the role of Barca's fringe players and even the current political situation in Catalunya. Check it out here:


  1. 4 points.
    1. Barca dominated possession but no cutting edge till messi scored first goal and first 20 minutes Juve had good 2-3 good opportunities and on another day might have scored as well lets not jump the gun.. Juve had key players out still our midfield lacked creativity and suffered till minute 40..
    2. Messi is the real difference. without him its just a normal players... he is simply the best ever.
    3.Suarez and dembele gave away balls too many times and ..Demebele - still lot to improve and does not look like a finisher at the moment.. he need to get more involved.. Deulofeu should have started ...
    Suarez seems to be not match fit and sharp enough..we need a great season from him in front of goal.. Hopefully he will get better
    4. my concern is our bench - I dont see a real impact player who can help when barca is down or we need to break down a stubborn team.
    I believe Valverde should give Denis / Roberto /alena minutes ahead of Paulinho/Gomes when we are 3-0 up.. I am still not sure why we bought paulinho..still puzzles me a lot..


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