TIL Desk Sports/ Barcelona defied an outgoing off-field crisis as another Lionel Messi-inspired display exacted revenge on Juventus to open their Champions League campaign with a resounding 3-0 win.
Messi was involved in all three goals as he beat Gianluigi Buffon for the first time in his career to open the floodgates just before half-time late last night.
Ivan Rakitic added a second after Messi’s run and cross opened up the Juventus defence before the Argentine rounded off the scoring by drilling home his second of the evening 19 minutes from time. Victory puts Barca on top of Group D alongside Sporting Lisbon, who were 3-2 winners at Olympiakos.
Barca’s start to the season has been dominated by calls for president Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign following Neymar’s world record move to Paris Saint-Germain and the Catalan giants’ bungled moves to replace the Brazilian.
However, Ousmane Dembele impressed on his full debut following a 105 million-euro move from Borussia Dortmund, as Barca proved as long as they have Messi there is life after Neymar.