Juventus managed to dominate the game in the first part of the second half, but they were torn apart by the Barca forwards on the brake in the Champions League final.
After Juventus started the second half brilliantly, there came a point in the game when Juve were not just level on score with Barcelona but they also had the upper hand in the game, stunning the majority of the mobile betting audience.
• Juve were able to dominate
• It was easy on the break for Messi and co.
• Second treble for Barca in club history
In that very minute, a goal came from Luis Suarez after a counterattack, turning the whole game over, and making way to complete the treble for the second time in club history. Barcelona became the only team to do that twice, winning the league, the cup and the Champions League already with Pep Guardiola back in 2009. They have also won four Champions League title in ten years, which is a feature that no team were able to do outside Real Madrid (1956-60) and Liverpool (1977-84).
Juventus back on level
After Juve were pressing high at the beginning of the first half, they started the second one in a similar fashion, and since Barca did not undermine their plans this time with an early goal, they became more and more confident. Within ten minutes, they capitalized on pressing high, after they were able to gain possession in the opponent’s half. However, to create a quality chance, they also needed a flash of genius.
Juve’s scoring attempts during the game were mainly long range shots or headers after set pieces, either sent too high or saved by Barca’s 23-year-old German goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen. In the 55th minute however Claudio Marchisio released the overlapping right back, Stephane Lichtsteiner with a backheel pass at the edge of the box and the Swiss international found Carlos Tevez in front of the goal. Though Ter Stegen saved the Argentine’s shot, Alvaro Morata, who scored twice against Real Madrid in the semifinals, converted the rebound, making it 1-1.
After the goal, Juve became even more confident, and instead of stepping back, they encamped in Barca’s half, started to dominate the game and controlling the ball. The Italians clearly had the upper hand, and the players of Barcelona might have been feeling something similar to what they experienced against Bayern Munich in the first of their semifinal encounter this year. And in minutes, the Italians were actually feeling the same way as the Germans were late in the game at Camp Nou.
Juve were in control, but Barcelona had space
Juventus might have been controlling Lionel Messi, when Barcelona were in possession and the Bianconeri were guarding their own box, but the best player in the world remained dangerous on the brake throughout the second half. If you are lucky, you might prevent Messi and Barca’s forward line from scoring with a well-organized and disciplined defence and with a lot of bodies between the Argentine and your goal. But virtually nobody can stop them with a disordered defence while in transition, as many punters who bet via online sportsbooks in the EU knows.
Bayern tried to put pressure on Barcelona in the semis, but they ended up being torn apart by the best forward line in the world, consisting lightning quick and brilliantly skilled players exclusively. This also happened with Juventus, who, maybe slightly overconfidently, were trying to force Barca to its own defensive third. However if there is an empty half behind your two centre-backs, then Messi, Neymar and Suarez will capitalize on that soon.
Now it came in the 68th minute, when Messi, racing towards Gianluigi Buffon’s goal on a counterattack, only had to beat one man to get in a position to shoot from the 18-yard-line. Though Buffon was able to save the ball after the low shot of Barca’s number ten, the Uruguayan goal machine, Luis Suarez were the quickest to react and he put the Catalans ahead. Seemingly against the run of play, it was virtually unavoidable actually.
Neymar to wrap it up
Barca, once regained the lead, started to create chances again and Neymar almost doubled their lead when heading the ball into Buffon’s goal, but the score has been cancelled as the ball touched the Brazilian’s hand before falling into the net. Juve were trying to come back once again, and though they had their opportunities, Barcelona denied them having quality chances. Barca were controlling things once again, defending well and it was only a question of time when they will convert another chance on the brake again.
It came in the very last second, when Messi released Neymar, who was clearly onside since having started from his own half. The Brazilian raced towards Buffon’s goal and to fool the two Juve players in the box, he played a comfortable one-two with Pedro who replaced Suarez just a couple of minutes before, then wrapped up the game with a low shot equaling Messi’s and Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally of 10 goals in the competition.
As it was expected by those who bet on sports in the EU before the game, Barcelona won their fifth European Cup/Champions League title, completing a treble. Luis Enrique took over the team twelve months ago, and by possessing the best forward line in the world and a squad perfectly fit for playing possession football on the highest level, he took the team back to where they were for the last time in Guardiola’s reign.