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Sport Koeman's Barca finally click as Ronaldo-less Juve struggle for identity

02:05  29 october  2020
02:05  29 october  2020 Source:   goal.com

Barca have great future but Koeman urges patience following Champions League rout

  Barca have great future but Koeman urges patience following Champions League rout Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman discussed his team's victory over Hungarian visitors Ferencvaros at Camp Nou.Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele were all on target for Barca, who made a winning start in Group G on Tuesday, while Gerard Pique was sent off in the second half.

© Getty Images Barcelona finally clicked under Ronald Koeman . With Ronaldo missing, Juve needed Paulo Dybala to step up but, playing in the same central role in a 4-2-3-1 as his opposite number, he went into hiding, having only two shots and failing to create any chances.

© Getty Images Barcelona finally clicked under Ronald Koeman . With Ronaldo missing, Juve needed Paulo Dybala to step up but, playing in the same central role in a 4-2-3-1 as his opposite number, he went into hiding, having only two shots and failing to create any chances.

Two teams struggling to impress under respective club legends met in Turin on Wednesday, and without Juventus' star player on show, it was Ronald Koeman's Barcelona who came out on top.

Barcelona finally clicked under Ronald Koeman © Getty Images Barcelona finally clicked under Ronald Koeman

A 34th meeting between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in club football was put on hold due to the latter's latest coronavirus test result, and Andrea Pirlo's side paid the price in a clash that was short of quality.

There were moments. Ousmane Dembele's opener, albeit fortuitous, came at the culmination of a fine run from the winger. On Barca's opposite flank, teenager Pedri shined and Messi showed flashes of brilliance.

Lionel Messi hopes Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to play for Juventus

  Lionel Messi hopes Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to play for Juventus Juventus are scrambling to ensure that Ronaldo will be available for selection should one final test come back negative - and Messi also appears keen to face off against him again in another 'special' match-up.The 35-year-old forward has so often lead the way for the Turin giants and continued to defy his age, but may be absent from the mouthwatering clash due to returning a second positive test for the disease.

Barca coach Koeman describes 2-0 Champions League victory as 'our best game all season'. Portuguese star Ronaldo was left out by Juve for the match in Turi, two weeks after testing positive for coronavirus. The 35-year-old, the top scorer in the history of the Champions League with 130 goals

Ronald Koeman declared he must be the wrong coach for Barcelona if he cannot be allowed to criticise the team for falling short of required standards. © Getty Images Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman .

At the other end, Alvaro Morata displayed neat finishing, only to see all three of his strikes disallowed, yet Merih Demiral's dreadful second-minute pass ultimately summed up a dismal Juve performance – his late red card compounding the hosts' misery.

Messi netted his 70th group-stage goal to wrap up the victory from the penalty spot, as Barca won in Turin for the first time.

JUVE MISS RONALDO'S EDGE AS MESSI LEADS BARCA

Ronaldo remains in isolation due to what he labelled as "bull****" coronavirus protocols, and without him, the Serie A champions have looked decidedly ordinary.

From the four games Ronaldo has missed since testing positive for COVID-19, Pirlo's team have managed just one win, against Dynamo Kyiv in their Group G opener.

Koeman: It's a big challenge at Barcelona – just give me time

  Koeman: It's a big challenge at Barcelona – just give me time Ronald Koeman wants patience at Barcelona as he looks to rebuild the team into a side that can challenge for top honours.The Catalans have endured a mixed start to the season under the former Netherlands boss, who took charge after Quique Setien was sacked in the wake of the 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in August.

Ronald Koeman praised Frenkie de Jong for improving the attacking aspect of his game after chipping in with another goal and an assist in Barcelona' s The Netherlands international profited from a Diego Gonzalez error to give Barca a 39th-minute lead and crossed for substitute Riqui Puig to score a late

Barca player unrest over tactics a 'lie' - Koeman . Alvaro Morata had three goals disallowed for offside for Juve , who ended the game with 10 men following Merih Demiral's red card in the 85th On this showing, the 17-year-old forward will have a big role to play in Ronald Koeman ' s side this season.

In his 33 club meetings with Messi, Ronaldo has scored 18 goals and provided one assist, creating 19 chances and claiming nine wins.

Though those statistics do not compare favourably to Messi – who has scored 21 times, created 10 goals and crafted 60 opportunities – Juve's reliance on Ronaldo has become clearer in his absence.

Juve have now lost five of the 17 games, across the Serie A and Champions League, Ronaldo has not featured in since the start of the 2018-19 season, winning nine, scoring 26 goals and conceding 17.


Gallery: The 25 best Champions League games of all time (FourFourTwo)

a group of people watching a football game:                      “You go on and score the decisive goal,” coach Ottmar Hitzfeld instructed Dortmund midfielder Lars Ricken just before replacing Stephane Chapuisat in the 1997 final. It took the one-club man 16 seconds to follow his manager’s orders, his delicious chip – with his first touch – securing a famous 3-1 win.                                                                              It had been a game of substitutes: Alessandro Del Piero replaced Sergio Porrini at the break to re-energise the Old Lady after Karl-Heinz Riedle’s first-half double. Riedle had his own premonition, waking at 3.30am on the day of the game in a cold sweat. “I just dreamt that I’ll score two goals,” he panted.

With Ronaldo missing, Juve needed Paulo Dybala to step up but, playing in the same central role in a 4-2-3-1 as his opposite number, he went into hiding, having only two shots and failing to create any chances.

The same could not be said of Messi, whose assist for Dembele was his 35th in the Champions League, while the 33-year-old boasted game-highs in key passes (five) – more than any Barca player in any game this season – and shots (four).

Who makes it into our combined Juventus and Barcelona XI?

  Who makes it into our combined Juventus and Barcelona XI? Juventus have made a stuttering start to life under Andrea Pirlo, who is yet to settle on a formation, while Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman needs to recover quickly from a 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid. As well as Ronaldo, the Italians are missing key defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt while their opponents are without injured goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the suspended Gerard Pique.As the two European heavyweights prepare to go head to head, albeit with weaker teams than they would like, Sportsmail picks a combined XI using fit and available players.

Koeman ´ s Barca finally click as Ronaldo - less Juve struggle for identity 0.

Yet new boss Koeman has refused to include him in his plans for next season and he is set to depart the club alongside Vidal - who has been strongly linked with a move to Inter Milan. Suarez was reportedly told by the Dutch manager that his services are no longer required in a one-minute phone

KOEMAN FINDS A SPARK AFTER BARTOMEU QUITS

Saturday's Clasico defeat to Real Madrid proved to be the final game of the Josep Maria Bartomeu era at Barca, with the club president – and the entire board of directors – resigning on Tuesday.

Though it was far from a vintage display, and one which might not be good enough against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City or holders Bayern Munich, Barca did what they needed to in Turin.

Leaving the evergreen Messi to one side, Koeman can also look to impressive displays from Dembele, Pedri and Miralem Pjanic, who made his presence felt against his former club.

Pjanic made 82 passes, second only to Messi, who attempted 95, with the former Juve playmaker achieving an accuracy of 86.6 per cent.

Pedri played with the flare of youth, though he did not shirk off his defensive work – his three tackles the joint-highest in Barca's side, along with Ronald Araujo.

Dembele's display, meanwhile, was perhaps the most promising of all for Koeman. Injury limited the Frenchman to nine appearances last season, and his deflected long-range effort ended a 12-month wait for a goal.

Rivaldo doubts Barca's chances of winning Champions League this season

  Rivaldo doubts Barca's chances of winning Champions League this season Barcelona legend Rivaldo doesn't believe his old side have what it takes to win the Champions League. Barca were destroyed 8-2 in the quarter finals by Bayern Munich in their last campaign.The Brazilian played for the Catalan club between 1997 and 2002 but doubts Barca can win Europe's top prize for the first time since 2015.

PIRLO STRUGGLING TO FIND A BALANCE

Though it must be noted that Wednesday's clash was only Pirlo's eighth as coach, and his first defeat, Juve looked a shadow of their former selves.

Dybala may have been anonymous, but he was not helped by Juve's tendency to channel their play down the right flank, with only 25.4 per cent of their attacks going through central areas.

With Pjanic pulling the strings for Barca, Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur failed to combine with any real effect. Ahead of them, Dybala, Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevski combined for just three attempts, with Morata forced into playing both as a poacher and creator – his tally of three opportunities created the most of any Juve player.

In their 200th Champions League game, Juve failed to put any of their 10 efforts on target, albeit Morata had three goals rightly disallowed.

Juve have now failed to score in their last four meetings with Barca, and Pirlo's Bianconeri, with three wins, four draws and a defeat, are a team struggling to discover their identity.

Cristiano Ronaldo 'is unlikely to remain at Juventus beyond 2022' .
The 35-year-old vowed to play into his 40s back in 2016 and has just two years left on his current deal in Italy. The Portugal star may leave Juventus when his contract expires for a new challenge.The 35-year-old vowed to play into his 40s back in 2016 and has just two years left on his current deal in Italy.

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