Juventus 0 Barcelona 0: Messi benched but ValverdeĀ“s men in last 16

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has told Sergio Aguero to snub a move to Real Madrid
GETTY Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has told Sergio Aguero to snub a move to Real Madrid

23 November, 2017

Champions League - Follow the Football match between Juventus and FC Barcelona live with Eurosport. The meeting between two of European football's highest profile sides represented a chance for both to progress from Group D, with a draw being enough for Barca, while Juve would need Sporting Lisbon to slip up at home if their own clash ended level. For all their possession however Ernesto Valverde's side struggled to create anything clear-cut against a hugely experienced, if slightly depleted, Juventus defence.

Second-placed Juventus trail La Liga leaders Barca by three points in the group.

For Barca, attention can now turn to the top-of-the-table clash at Mestalla on Sunday, with their knockout spot secure. "Alves has an wonderful vision and is really self-confident, he is one of the best players I've ever seen".

Rakitic nearly made amends for his mistake, however, as his free kick evaded everyone and clipped Gianluigi Buffon's post, before Paulinho headed the rebound wide.

Barcelona, which rested Lionel Messi for the first half, went closest to breaking the deadlock when Ivan Rakitic hit the post with a free kick.

Barca had shouts for a penalty in the 30th minute when Paulinho went over a challenge from Miralem Pjanic, but the referee showed a deserved yellow card to the Brazilian for a fairly blatant dive.

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Juve, meanwhile, line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa behind lone striker Gonzalo Higuain, while Mario Mandzukic drops to the bench.

0 - Luis Suarez was the player with the fewest passes attempted (9) and touches (14, none in the opposite box) in this first half.

The boss made four additions to his squad during the summer in the form of Paulinho, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Ousmane Dembele.

Dybala nearly forced an opener for Juve when he rounded Barca's defence and got to the byline, but his explosive finish from a tight angle flew just over.

Messi swiftly began to provide the flawless outlet for every Barca attack, and the likes of Iniesta and Rakitic looked for him at every available opportunity.

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