It was an emphatic victory for Barcelona as they defeated the Old ladies of Turin 3-0 on Tuesday night in their first Champions League match of the season since losing to the Italian champions 3-0 on aggregate in the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition last season.
After losing to Juventus, much was made of the fact that Messi had never scored against Gianluigi Buffon, while the Argentine also failed to hit the target over two legs as Barca were beaten 5-1 by fierce rivals Real Madrid in August.
That damaging defeat, allied with a tumultuous summer in which Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain, top targets like Marco Verratti and Philippe Coutinho were not signed and it also emerged that Messi had not put the final signature onto the contract agreement announced by Barca in July, brought much doom and gloom.
The team’s decline was a worry for fans of the Catalan club and president Josep Maria Bartomeu is facing a censure motion or vote of no confidence as former candidate Agusti Benedito seeks to gather sufficient signatures to force fresh elections next year.
On the pitch, however, things have gone surprisingly well since the Supercopa. Under new coach Ernesto Valverde, Barca have won their opening three league matches (against Betis, Alaves and Espanyol), scoring nine goals in that time and conceding none.
And Ousmane Dembele, who made his debut with an assist in the 5-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday, was handed his first start on Tuesday against a Juventus team missing Giorgio Chiellini, Stephan Lichtsteiner (not chosen in Juve’s European squad), Juan Cuadrado, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio and Mario Mandzukic.
Source: ( PM News )