Juventus welcomed Barcelona at the Allianz Stadium in the standout fixture of the UEFA Champions League matchday. Both sides came into the game on the back of disappointing results domestically, with the two new managers looking to getting into the groove at their respective clubs.
While Barcelona were beaten 3-1 by arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Camp Nou, Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by a spirited Verona side, as Andrea Pirlo's team desperately missed the services of the charismatic Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar is in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 whilst on international duty and lost the race against time to prove his fitness for the game.
In what was a captivating encounter in Turin, Barcelona recorded a convincing 2-0 victory, as they looked like a totally different side to the one that lost to Real Madrid earlier this week.
Barcelona produce spirited display to leave Juventus red-faced at home
Barcelona raced off the blocks and threatened to break the deadlock as early as the third minute, as Antoine Griezmann's vicious left-footed shot cannoned off the post. Ronald Koeman's side, however, didn't have to wait long to put the ball into the back of the net.
Ousmane Dembele repaid the Dutchman's faith in him early in the first half, with the French attacker's deflected effort finding it's way past Wojciech Szczęsny in the Juventus goal. The Catalans had several chances of increasing their advantage but failed to do so before the interval, as they lacked quality in the final third and resorted to overplaying inside the Juventus penalty area.
It was more of the same in the second 45 minutes. Barcelona looked to double their advantage and threw bodies forward in search of the goal that would give them breathing space, while Juventus struggled to make their presence felt and fell flat in the absence of Ronaldo.
Barcelona saw off the game rather comfortably in the end, with the home side's misery compounded in the second half after Merih Demiral's sending off. The Catalans put the icing on the cake with a late penalty, as Lionel Messi's dispatched the spot-kick for Barcelona after Ansu Fati was brought down inside the box.
Koeman's side now have six points from two games and are in pole position to make it through to the knockout stages. In what was an intriguing battle between two European giants, here are the player ratings from an entertaining game at the Allianz Stadium.
Also check out: Complete Champions League Schedule 2020/21
Juventus Player Ratings
Wojciech Szczęsny - 6/10
Szczesny couldn't have done much more for Juventus, as Dembele's first goal took a wicked deflection and Messi's penalty was planted into the top corner late in the game.
Juan Cuadrado - 5/10
The Colombian wing-back was an energetic presence down the right flank but was given a hard time by Pedri. Cuadrado's fantastic cross was turned into the net by Alvaro Morata, but the Juventus striker was offside and the goal didn't stand. Also picked up a booking late in the second half
Merih Demiral - 3/10
Not his best night in a Juventus shirt, as he was guilty of giving the ball away a few times. Demiral didn't look comfortable and was sent off in the closing stages of the game for two bookable offenses. Matthijs de Ligt's absence showed on the night, as the Turk endured a tough game in Turin.
Leonardo Bonucci - 5/10
Bonnuci made a brilliant challenge to deny Messi in the first half and was the better of the two central defenders on the night. The Italian tried to initiate plays from the back but didn't enjoy his best night defensively.
Danilo - 6/10
Danilo was one of the better Juventus players on the night and performed well as a left-back. He produced a spirited showing and is one of few Bianconeri players who can leave with his head held high.
Adrien Rabiot - 5/10
The Frenchman didn't set the world alight but produced a decent performance in the centre of the park. Barcelona's midfield was superior on the night, as Rabiot failed to create much for his side. Was booked late in the second half for a cynical foul on Messi.
Rodrigo Bentancur - 4/10
Bentancur was uncharacteristically sloppy on the ball and failed to support Rabiot in central midfield. Known for his accurate passes, the Uruguayan endured a tough night and was replaced by former Barcelona midfielder Arthur, who in hindsight should've probably played in place of him from the start.
Dejan Kulusevski - 4/10
Not a good night for the Swede, who much like his teammates, failed to make things happen in the final. Kulusevski has been one of Juventus' better players this season, but the exciting midfielder did not impose himself on the game despite his lung-busting runs. Received a yellow card for a reckless lunge on Jordi Alba in the first half.
Federico Chiesa - 5/10
Chiesa was kept at bay by Sergi Roberto despite his best efforts. The Italian winger was full of energy but was thwarted in his attempts to bypass the Barcelona backline.
Alvaro Morata - 6/10
Morata was flagged offside far too many times and also had three goals ruled out for the same reason. The Spaniard, however, was Juventus' best attacker on the night and gave it his all till the closing stages of the game.
Paulo Dybala - 4/10
Dybala looked lost and failed to make an impression. The Argentine star didn't cover himself in glory in the absence of Ronaldo and was one of the Bianconeri's biggest underperformers on the night.
Weston McKennie - 6/10
McKennie replaced Kulusevski with 15 minutes left on the clock and added some much-needed energy to Juventus' game play. Attempted a shot that went wide of the post late in the game.
Federico Bernardeschi - 2/10
Came on for the last 10 odd minutes and conceded a stoppage-time penalty for a foul on Ansu Fati.
Arthur Melo - N/A
Arthur was on the pitch for just over 10 minutes and didn't have enough time to make an impact against his former team Barcelona.
Also check out: Complete Champions League Results and live Scores 2020/21