Monday, August 20, 2018 | ePaper

Barcelona draw 0-0 at Juventus to seal top spot in group

  • Print
AP, Turin :
Without Lionel Messi for almost an hour, Barcelona managed to get the draw it needed to reach the Champions League match knockout stages. It was drab 0-0 draw at Juventus, though, despite Paulo Dybala's efforts to spark it into life for the home side.
Messi was rested for the first half before coming on for Gerard Deulofeu in the 56th minute. He went close with a couple of free kicks but Barcelona barely troubled Gianluigi Buffon.
The point was enough for Barcelona to secure top spot in Group D. Juventus remained second in the group but is only a point above Sporting Lisbon, which beat Olympiakos 3-1.
Juventus, which reached the final in two of the last three seasons, visits Olympiakos in the last round, while Sporting travels to Barcelona.
"Leaving Messi out was difficult but he has played a lot this season and has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders too," said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. "Today we saw a long and tough contest so we thought a rest would do him good.
"We knew the game could open up in the second half, so I wanted to both let him rest and have an option to shake things up."
Ivan Rakitic went closest for Barcelona, with a first-half free kick that went past a number of players before hitting the right post.
Dybala almost scored in stoppage-time for Juventus but Marc-Andre Ter Stegen palmed his effort around the post.
"We had our chances, what a pity for that ball at the end," Dybala said. "Now we have to be good and win the match against Olympiakos and not wait to see what Barcelona do," against Sporting.
Juventus had beaten Barcelona 3-0 in Turin in last season's quarterfinals on its way to the final. But the Bianconeri had lost at Barcelona by the same scoreline earlier this campaign.
"We played against a very good team and it was not an easy game to win," Dybala said. "In comparison to last year, they defended much better and it wasn't easy to get into the area."
Dybala has long been compared to Messi - his international teammate at Argentina.
Dybala was at the heart of most of Juve's good moves and he also almost scored at the end of the first half when he took the ball round a couple of defenders before unleashing a shot which flashed over the bar.
Apart from brief moments like that, the match was short on quality, despite featuring two such prestigious sides.

More News For this Category

U-15 Women's team return home

U-15 Women's team return home

BSS, Dhaka :The Bangladesh U-15 Women's Football team returned home on Monday from Bhutan after participating the SAFF U-15 Women's Championship.Bangladesh finished as runners-up in the championship after losing

Atlanta's Martinez matches MLS single-season scoring record

Atlanta's Martinez matches MLS single-season scoring record

AFP, Washington :Josef Martinez tied Major League Soccer's single-season scoring record Sunday when he hammered in his 27th goal of the season in Atlanta's 3-1 home victory over Columbus

Real Madrid win Spanish League opener without Ronaldo

Real Madrid win Spanish League opener without Ronaldo

AP, Madrid :Gareth Bale is doing his part to help Real Madrid get over Cristiano Ronaldo's departure.Bale scored in Madrid's Spanish league opener and set up the other goal

Messi, Coutinho get Barcelona off to winning start

Messi, Coutinho get Barcelona off to winning start

AFP, Madrid :Two goals from Lionel Messi either side of a Philippe Coutinho strike allowed Barcelona to start their defence of the Spanish title with a 3-0 win over

Bangladesh to play Qatar today for a 2nd round berth

Bangladesh U-23 team will play Asian giant Qatar in their 3rd and last Group B match of the 18th Asian Games Men's Football today at the Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium in

The participants of the seminar marking the 'Condition of Bangladesh's Football' pose for photograph at the Dutch-Bangla Bank Auditorium in Bangladesh Olympic Association Bhaban on Saturday.

The participants of the seminar marking the 'Condition of Bangladesh's Football' pose for photograph at the Dutch-Bangla Bank Auditorium in Bangladesh Olympic Association Bhaban on Saturday.

Sri Lanka announces preliminary squad for Asia Cup

Asia Cup, the biggest cricketing event in the Asian continent is all set to kick start on September 15 later this year. This time the tournament will be hosted by

Griezmann has powerful case to win Ballon d'Or

Griezmann has powerful case to win Ballon d'Or

Winning the European Super Cup was an indication that Antoine Griezmann took the right decision in believing that he is on the right road withAtletico Madrid to winning the Ballon

Ex-Portugal boss Bento named as new S Korea coach

AFP, Seoul :Former Portugal boss Paulo Bento will coach South Korea over the next four years through the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on Friday.Kim

Pogba should have been captain from the off, says Scholes

Pogba should have been captain from the off, says Scholes

AFP, London :French star Paul Pogba should have been Manchester United captain from the moment he arrived in 2016 and that might have prompted more consistency, former United midfield star