Match Reports: Juventus 0-0 Barcelona

A point each leaves the La Liga side on top of Group D by three points from second-placed Juventus with one game left to play.

Avoiding defeat at home to Sporting Lisbon at the Nou Camp will see Barcelona through as group winners, a result that will also be enough to ensure Juve’s progress. The Old Lady meanwhile will guarantee their last-16 place with a win over Olympiacos in Greece next month.

Lionel Messi was named amongst the subs in Italy, and his absence certainly curtailed the visitors during a static opening half.

Paulinho exchanged passes with Luis Suarez on the edge of the penalty area early on but his shot didn’t trouble Gigi Buffon.

Ivan Rakitic almost opened the scoring fortuitously, when his set piece evaded everyone before coming back off the upright.

Before half-time Douglas Costa and Gonzalo Higuain combined to give Juan Cuadrado a shooting chance, but his volley from just inside the area went a long way over the bar.

After the break, Suarez saw a free-kick deflected onto the roof of the net, while Messi was summoned before the hour.

Messi helped carve Barca’s best chance on 68 minutes, finding Lucas Digne inside the box but the defender opted for a low cross when a shot seemed the best option and, gleefully, Juve were allowed clear their lines.

Right at the death, Paulo Dybala arrowed a low shot from 20-yards towards the bottom corner after some fine approach play by Juventus, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen was quickly down with a strong right hand to turn the ball around his post.

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