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Lionel Messi doubles up as Juventus are swept aside

13 Septembre 2017

Dybala had absolutely terrorised the Blaugrana defence in last season's Champions League quarterfinal first leg, scoring two fabulous goals in a 3-0 victory for the Bianconeri.

Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri, whose side lost to Real Madrid in last season's final and also to Barca in the 2015 showpiece, admitted Messi is "unstoppable" if you do not get close enough.

His role has changed this season and it looks to be to devastating effect.

Bartomeu needs him to sign his new deal even more to quench the thirst for his resignation. Somehow, he didn't score in the opening La Liga game of the season against Real Betis, although he did batter the woodwork three times.

Juventus eased past Chievo 3-0 in Turin to make it three wins out of three.

13 minutes later, Messi put the final flourish on a brilliant individual performance with his second. He constantly beat Juve defenders and strained his opponents with his dribbling and passing.

The Brazil forward and fellow summer signing Kylian Mbappe -- who combined are set to cost PSG in excess of £366million - were both on the scoresheet before fellow forward Edinson Cavani added a third from the penalty spot just before half-time. The Juventus defense is the best in the world and it was the reason for Barca's defeat.

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Barca's sporting director Robert Fernandez has said he expects the Argentina worldwide to put pen to paper "soon".

But new coach Ernesto Valverde has refocused his players on the league, and Messi has done the rest by scoring five goals to lead the competition.

Ultimately, there were extenuating circumstances for Tuesday's loss.

Juan Cuadrado is banned, Benedikt Howedes is still not ready to feature, but Alex Sandro returns after recovering from a bout of flu.

Despite that, they had their moments, especially in the first half. Mario Mandzukic and Douglas Costa initially supported Gonzalo Higuain up front, but it was when the latter was swapped for Dybala that the game turned on its head. Behind them, Pjanic patrolled the midfield well and questions were regularly asked of ter Stegen.

La Pulga celebrates his opener against the Old Lady. Group D isn't playing around with Barcelona, Juventus, Sporting, and Olympiacos.

It was the Messi show from that point on, though, and the five-time Ballon d'Or victor nearly doubled his personal tally for the evening in the 52nd minute when his powerful 25-yard drive struck the post before bouncing back off the beaten Buffon and behind.

Lionel Messi doubles up as Juventus are swept aside