Barcelona 3 - 1 Juventus (half-time 1-0)
Barcelona joined Liverpool and Bayern Munich in becoming champions of Europe for the fifth time on Saturday, defeating Juventus 3-1 in the final of the #Champions League in Berlin. Goals from Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar ensured the Catalan's success, after Alvaro Morata had equalised for the Italian champions ten minutes into the second half. Barcelona's victory confirmed a glorious treble this season after winning their domestic league and cup competitions recently.
Messi the team player
There can have been few occasions when Lionel Messi has not been on the score-sheet, yet his Barcelona side have scored three times. But yesterday's Champions League final victory over Juventus was a classic example of the result being far more important than one individual's contribution. That is not to say that the nimble Argentinian did not play his full part in a compelling team performance though.
Opener from Rakitic
The eagerly anticipated final was just four minutes old when the Croatian Ivan Rakitic finished off a slick team passing movement, sliding Andres Iniesta's exquisite pull-back into the net from close range. The build-up to the opening goal had exemplified Barcelona's fluid passing movement, with a rapier strike finishing the artistry off perfectly. Barcelona were mainly on the front foot at that stage, dominating possession and looking likely to add more goals.
That they failed to increase their slender advantage in the first-half was a credit to Juventus' resilience and the Italians were unexpectedly rewarded for their efforts in the second-half. After Carlos Tevez's 55th minute shot had been saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Morata pounced on the rebound to level the match.
Suarez slides in the second
Barcelona continued to look the more threatening team and Luis Suarez put the Spanish side back in front 13 minutes later. The Uruguayan livewire showed fine predatory instincts in the area to fire the ball home, after Gianluigi Buffon could only parry Lionel Messi's initial strike on goal.
Neymar adds late gloss
Despite having a third goal rightly ruled out for handball, when Neymar first headed but then crucially handled the ball into the net, Barcelona made the game safe late on. The energetic Brazilian this time scoring a legitimate goal deep into added-on time with a clinical low finish past Buffon.
Xavi bows out in style
Iniesta was replaced by club captain Xavi Hernandez before the end of the game, allowing the 35-year-old to be on the pitch at the final whistle. It was he who finally had the honour of lifting the trophy, in what will be his final game for the club before joining Al Sadd in Qatar.
Lethal forward lineClub legend Xavi may be departing, but there is every reason to suggest that Barcelona's dominance in both Spain and Europe will endure. With a forward line that is the envy of world #Football, they are capable of outscoring their opposition seemingly at will. Messi, Neymar and Suarez form an all-South American attacking unit that has amassed a staggering 122 goals this campaign. Expect more fireworks from them next season.