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UCL: Barcelona expect 'intense game' against Juventus

UCL: Barcelona expect 'intense game' against Juventus

Things may have been different had his international teammate Dybala not squandered Juve's clearest chance of the night moments after the restart, blazing the ball over the crossbar when he should have at least hit the target after Gerard Pique's interception had fallen kindly for him.

Barcelona thrashed last year's finalists 3-0 with a brace from Lionel Messi and one from Rakitic - the result left the Higuain more than a little frustrated as he left the field and according to Marca, he gave the Barcelona fans the middle finger as he left the pitch. "(Messi) plays perfectly well in tight spaces, but today he had more space, and I would even say that we made it easier for him, leaving him so open".

This will be a test for the Spanish side since it seems like Luiz Suarez is still not 100% fit meaning they will be without one of the key players.

Speaking at the press conference ahead of the game, Valverde admitted that Juventus are a great team but they'll try to play with high enthusiasm.

Iniesta's display was only upstaged by Messi, who ended his hoodoo against Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon with lethal strikes either side of halftime, scoring for the seventh time in three games.

Messi now has 96 goals and 25 assists from 116 appearances in the Champions League.

"We have to leave him to grow in peace".

"It was an important win, above all for our aim of qualifying from the group", he said. Barcelona are pretty much at full strength, tilting the odds in favor of the Blaugrana.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde hailed two-goal Lionel Messi after their 3-0 Champions League rout of Juventus.

Moreover, Messi is yet to sign an extension to his contract, which is due to expire in June, despite Bartomeu's insistence that an agreement in principle has been reached with the player.

The two juggernauts are the clear favourites to qualify from Group D, as Olympiakos & Sporting CP are the other two teams.

"Inside the club we need to maintain calm because we know how difficult every game is". "This will serve as a lesson".

"The coach always wants what is best for the club".

ON LIVORNO - "The first thought goes to Livorno, my city, after what has happened".