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Barcelona claim their fifth European title

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Barcelona were victorious against Juventus on a beautiful evening in Berlin, taking their tally of Champions League victories to five, equalling Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

On the night, Barcelona took the lead inside five minutes when a flurry of Barcelona passes from all over the field eventually fell to Ivan Rakitic who knocked it past Juve captain Gianluigi Buffon.

Buffon was helpless for the goal, but with Barcelona dominating, the Italian keeper was called into action shortly after, producing a spectacular left handed save to deny Dani Alves from doubling the Spanish side’s lead.

Barcelona had certainly dominated the first half, and were producing some scintillating football. Buffon was again tested, this time by two of Barcelona’s fearsome front three in Suarez and Messi.

But Juve, who were already deemed the underdogs prior to kick off, found an equaliser early in the second half. A clever backheel from Marchisio set up full back Stephan Lichtsteiner, who assisted the Old Lady’s top scorer, Carlos Tevez, to strike, but keeper Andre Ter Stegen was able to deny the Argentinian before the rebound fell to Alvaro Morata to tuck it home.

Suddenly, the Italian side seemed to have a foothold in the game, and Paul Pogba felt that his side should have been awarded a penalty after Alves brought the Frenchman down. Nothing was given, and Barcelona launched an incisive counter attack. Messi struck towards goal, only to be denied by the brilliant Buffon again, but Suarez smashed home the rebound, his seventh goal of the European campaign, to regain the Spanish side’s advantage.

Barcelona had regained their momentum, and Neymar thought he added a third goal, only to be ruled out because of a handball. Xavi, making his final Barcelona appearance, came on for captain Andres Iniesta with 15 minutes remaining for his 151st European appearance.

But deep into the five additional minutes, Barcelona hit Juventus on the counter-attack yet again, and this time Neymar got his goal to give Barcelona their fifth European title, and their third in just six years.

In winning the cup, Barcelona confirmed an unprecedented treble for the first time since 2009 under Pep Guardiola, condemning Juve to their sixth European final defeat and their fourth in succession.

And in a week of football controversy regarding Fifa, the world was treated to 90 minutes of breathtaking football between two of Europe’s elite.

Barcelona have not only dominated their domestic league this year, but the Spanish club have dominated Europe too. With the players that Luis Enrique, it’s difficult to see any other side competing with them at this level. After all, since 2004, there have been 14 clubs that have reached the final, with Barcelona the only side to do so on more than one occasion.

Barcelona Champions League Final Juventus

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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