Juventus 1-3 Barcelona: Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Neymar seal fourth Champions League win in a decade as Catalans clinch treble

Follow all the actions in picture as it happened

  • All of Barca’s outfield players touched the ball in a breathtaking move which saw Rakitic score in the fourth minute
  • From the left, Neymar found Iniesta in the box, the Spaniard squared it to Rakitic who finished with aplomb
  • With Barcelona playing football from another planet, Juve levelled from nowhere through Alvaro Morata in the 55th minute
  • Marquisio’s clever backheel set Lichtsteiner free; the Swiss crossed for Tevez who saw his shot saved by Ter Stegen
  • But there was Morata, who scored in both legs of the semi-final against Real Madrid, to slot home 
  • Luis Suarez restored Barca’s lead minutes later finishing off a counter-attack with a cool finish in the 68th minute
  • Messi broke from the half-way line, Juventus backed off and the Argentine’s shot was parried by Buffon into the path 
  • Neymar had a goal ruled out for handball, the ball bouncing off his head then his hand and into the net 
  • But the Brazilian found the net with the last kick of the game to complete Barcelona’s evening  
  • Xavi came on for Iniesta to make his record 151st Champions League appearance

Twelve minutes from the end of an enthralling, unrelenting Champions League final, two Barcelona legends stood on the touchline and embraced. Andres Iniesta took off the captain’s armband and wrapped it meticulously around the upper arm of Xavi, his replacement. Xavi ran on to a great roar from Barcelona’s fans.

The best team of our generation said goodbye to one era last night and ushered in another in the same instant. Xavi, their heart and soul through the magical Pep Guardiola years will leave for Al Sadd in the summer and others will follow him away from the Nou Camp.

But the greatness will live on. Barcelona proved that. This is a new team now, a team still capable of breathtaking football that can make your heart sing but a team that can be tough and pragmatic, too. A team that knows how to win.

Of course, they were beautiful to watch when they beat Juventus 3-1 to win their fifth European Cup, joining Bayern Munich and Liverpool in the number of their triumphs. But this was a game they won with guts as well as guile. Juventus made sure of that.

Luis Suarez hit the winner, finishing off a breathtaking counter-attack from Lionel Messi to give Barcelona a fifth European Cup

Luis Suarez hit the winner, finishing off a breathtaking counter-attack from Lionel Messi to give Barcelona a fifth European Cup

Suarez reacted quickest to the loose ball after Gianluigi Buffon parried Messi's shot, with the striker adjusting his body to sidefoot home

Suarez celebrated wildly as the Uruguayan ended a magnificent first season with the Catalan club in remarkable fashion 

Suarez celebrated wildly as the Uruguayan ended a magnificent first season with the Catalan club in remarkable fashion

Barcelona players flock to Ivan Rakitic after the Croatian schemer finished off a sweeping, incisive move to give the Catalans an early lead 

Barcelona players flock to Ivan Rakitic after the Croatian schemer finished off a sweeping, incisive move to give the Catalans an early lead

The helpless Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba can only watch as Rakitic' sidefooted effort beats the outstretched Gianluigi Buffon

The helpless Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba can only watch as Rakitic’ sidefooted effort beats the outstretched Gianluigi Buffon

Rakitic, man of the match in last year's Europa League final while with Sevilla, further strengthened his reputation as a big game player

Marc-Andre ter Stegen lies helpless after parrying Carlos Tevez's shot into the path of Morata, who prepares to pounce for the equaliser

Marc-Andre ter Stegen lies helpless after parrying Carlos Tevez’s shot into the path of Morata, who prepares to pounce for the equaliser

Gerard Pique, Carlos Tevez, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba , Pirlo and Rakitic watch open-mouthed as the Spanish striker sidefoots home

Gerard Pique, Carlos Tevez, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba , Pirlo and Rakitic watch open-mouthed as the Spanish striker sidefoots home

Morata, who scored against Real Madrid in both legs of the semi-final, continued his hot streak with the leveller ten minutes after the break

Rakitic is grabbed by a jubilant Neymar after handing Barca an early lead to light the touchpaper on a thrilling Champions League final

Rakitic is grabbed by a jubilant Neymar after handing Barca an early lead to light the touchpaper on a thrilling Champions League final

Rakitic, Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi celebrate the opening goal on a magical night for the Catalans in the German capital 

Rakitic, Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi celebrate the opening goal on a magical night for the Catalans in the German capital

Rakitic is mobbed by a flying Dani Alves, grabbed by an exuberant Neymar and a roaring Sergio Busquets after giving Barca an early lead

Barcelona players form a huddle in the corner of the pitch after seizing an early lead in a thrilling Champions League final 

MATCH FACTS

Juventus: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Evra, Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal (Pereyra), Tevez, Morata. Subs not used: Storari, Ogbonna, Coman, Llorente, Padoin, Sturaro.

Booked: Vidal, Pogba

Goal: Morata 55

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Rakitic (Mathieu), Busquets, Iniesta (Xavi 78), Messi, Suarez (Pedro), Neymar. Subs not used: Bravo, Rafinha, Bartra, Adriano.

Booked: Suarez

Goals: Rakitic 4, Suarez 68

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had praised Lionel Messi before the game as ‘an extra-terrestrial who plays with us humans’. He said he hoped that for one day he would return to earth and that was what Messi did.

For once, this game was not about him even though he had a hand in both Barcelona goals, scored by Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez. Messi played well but for once, it was a team performance that won this. It was team spirit as well as brilliance that got them through against the Italian champions.

It had seemed to begin with that Barcelona would cut loose when Rakitic put them ahead after four minutes and it took a heroic effort from Juventus just to stay in the game. They equalized early in the second half but Suarez got the winner Barcelona deserved.

So now the new era has begun. Forget any period of transition and the problems the team was wrestling with early in the season when there was discontent over the coaching of Luis Enrique. That’s history. Barcelona, winners of this trophy in 2009 and 2011, are ready to rule again.

Juventus, it is said, are a team who do not let you play well and they knew that, if they were to have any chance of lifting the trophy, they had to try to impose their very own Berlin Blockade on the greatest attacking trio in club football.

And for all the brilliance of Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr, the Italians knew that, in particular, they somehow had to try to mute the genius of Messi.

They had to do it without Giorgio Chiellini, the most redoubtable of their clutch of formidable defenders, who was injured in the build-up to the match. And they had to do it even as world was still marvelling at Messi’s wonder-goal in the Copa del Rey final last weekend.

Neymar flashed a shot just wide of Gianluigi Buffon's left-hand post when the Brazilian really should have hit the target

Neymar flashed a shot just wide of Gianluigi Buffon’s left-hand post when the Brazilian really should have hit the target

Juve were indebted to Buffon in the 13th minute, with the 37-year-old shifting his balance to make a world-class save to stop Dani Alves' shot

Juve were indebted to Buffon in the 13th minute, with the 37-year-old shifting his balance to make a world-class save to stop Dani Alves’ shot

Lionel Messi attracts plenty of attention as the Argentine maestro torments his Italian opponents with his trickery and close control

Lionel Messi attracts plenty of attention as the Argentine maestro torments his Italian opponents with his trickery and close control

Juventus were incensed after seeing this Jordi Alba tackle on Paul Pogba at the edge of the box go unpunished by referee Cuneyt Cakir

Juventus were incensed after seeing this Jordi Alba tackle on Paul Pogba at the edge of the box go unpunished by referee Cuneyt Cakir

Incensed players from Juventus surround Cakir following the incident, but Alba's tackle went unpunished by the Turkish official

Incensed players from Juventus surround Cakir following the incident, but Alba’s tackle went unpunished by the Turkish official

Dani Alves and Paul Pogba battle

Dani Alves and Paul Pogba battle

Carlos Tevez attempts to elude Sergio Busquets as the Argentine striker looks to find a Juventus shirt 

How do you stop a player like that? How do you stop a player who can start from a stationary position on the half-line, take on the Athletic Bilbao defence on his own, slalom through them, evading tackles, lunges and pushes, and smash the ball into the corner of the net?

‘I only give Juventus a small chance of success,’ Gianluca Vialli, who captained the side the last time they won the trophy in 1996, said the day before the game, ‘but if anyone can upset the apple-cart with Barcelona, it is an Italian team.’

As it was, the apple-cart stayed defiantly upright. Juventus pressed Barcelona strongly in the first three minutes and caused Javier Mascherano some discomfort but the fourth minute brought was different. The first time Barcelona broke the shackles, they scored.

What a goal it was, too. Messi drove an inch-perfect crossfield pass to Alba. Alba laid it back to Neymar, who crossed for Iniesta. Some players would have tried to score themselves but Iniesta is way too good to have done that. He dragged the ball into the path of Rakitic instead and Rakitic passed the ball into the empty net.

The game had started with a verse of poetry. Juventus and Arturo Vidal tried to drown the verse out with some industrial tackling that brought him an early yellow card but Barcelona were not deterred. Only a brilliant one-handed save by Gianluigi Buffon from Dani Alves shot stopped Barcelona doubling their lead before 15 minutes had elapsed.

Barcelona were beautiful, all flicks and unselfish runs and weighted passes and clever angles. When they had the ball, Juventus struggled to look anything other than utterly bewildered. But they did not give up. In fact, they dragged themselves back into the game.

Led by the indefatigable running of Paul Pogba and Carlos Tevez, they began to make incursions of their own in the Barcelona box. Morata curled a shot wide and, midway through the half, after they had harried Barcelona out of possession, Marchisio unleashed a piledriver from 25 yards that whistled just over Ter Stegen’s bar.

Time stands still as the slippery Suarez attempts to wrongfoot 34-year-old Andrea Barzagli in the Juventus penalty area

Time stands still as the slippery Suarez attempts to wrongfoot 34-year-old Andrea Barzagli in the Juventus penalty area

Arturo Vidal (right) was booked early in the first half and was fortunate to remain on the pitch after losing his head in a wayward spell

Suarez shows his close control as the Uruguayan avoids the attentions of Stephan Lichtsteiner and prompts another Barca attack

Luis Enrique gives Javier Mascherano instructions during a  frantic opening to the game 

Luis Enrique gives Javier Mascherano instructions during a  frantic opening to the game

But Barcelona rediscovered their mastery as half-time approached. Suarez went close twice, dragging a shot narrowly wide and bringing a smart save out of Buffon, and Pogba was booked for a scything late tackle on Messi.

Messi was starting to stir. He had seemed almost semi-detached until then, walking his way through some of the game as if he was toying with Juventus, letting others take them apart. Now he began to move.

He lit up the last minute of the first half with a devilish run that took him past a panicking slew of Juventus defenders. There was a moment when it looked as if he was about to pull back his left foot to shoot but he delayed and ran the ball out of play. Nobody’s perfect.

Juventus needed another fine save from Buffon to keep them in the game early in the second half after Rakitic led a Barcelona breakaway and Suarez tried to beat the goalkeeper at his near post. Then a dizzying exchange of passes that went rat-a-tat-tat from Messi to Neymar to Messi to Suarez to Messi in the Juventus box ended with the world’s best player slicing his shot wide.

But ten minutes after half time, Juventus stunned Barcelona. Marchisio produced the perfect backheel to play the ball into the path of Lichtsteiner and even though his cross went behind Tevez, Tevez swivelled and shot and Ter Stegen pushed the ball into the path of Morata, who slid it home.

Barcelona were rattled. The Juventus fans increased the volume and their team pressed forward. Tevez lifted a good chance over the bar, Pogba fizzed a dipping shot into Ter Stegen’s midriff.

Pogba protested bitterly when he claimed to have been wrestled to the ground in the Barcelona box but the referee waved play on and that was the reprieve Barcelona needed. Messi surged forward, skipped a tackle on the edge of the box and fired in a low shot that bounced just in front of Buffon. Even Buffon could not deal with it. He parried it and Suarez pounced, lifting it high into the net.

Barcelona thought they had scored again when Neymar mistimed a header so badly that it deceived Buffon and rolled into the net but it hit the Brazilian forward’s hand on the way in and it was ruled out. He did get on the scoresheet, finishing a final breakaway move with the last kick of the game to complete a magnificent season for the Catalans – Mailonline 

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