The Spanish side opened the scoring after just four
minutes, with Alvaro Morata equalising in the second
half before the Uruguayan and the Brazilian secured
Barcelona completed a trophy treble in Luis Enrique’s
debut season in charge as they beat Juventus 3-1 in
the UEFA Champions League final in Berlin.
Luis Suarez produced his most crucial contribution of
his short career at Camp Nou when he restored
Barca’s lead 22 minutes from time to effectively settle
the game, after Alvaro Morata had cancelled out Ivan
Rakitic’s early opener.
A fifth European title looked set to be a more routine
ask when Rakitic – the man to perform so capably in
replacing the soon-to-depart Xavi this term – opened
the scoring in the fourth minute with a trademark
Barca goal, which saw nine of their 10 outfield
players touch the ball.
However, while Barca enjoyed the better of the first
half from there – threatening a Juve back line shorn
of Giorgio Chiellini through injury – former Real
Madrid man Morata struck early in the second
Having scored twice in the two-legged semi-
final against his former club, Morata was afforded a
simple finish after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had saved
an initial effort from Carlos Tevez.
Suarez was the only Barca man not involved in
Rakitic’s opener, but the Uruguayan provided the
crucial touch in his side’s crucial second, as he
replicated Morata’s finish when Lionel Messi’s effort
was spilled by Gianluigi Buffon.
Neymar had a header disallowed, via an accidental
handball, as Barca sought to put the game out of
sight late on.
But it proved inconsequential in the end, as the
Brazilian added a third with the last touch of the
match to ensure that Luis Enrique’s side repeated the
treble-winning achievement of Pep Guardiola’s Barca
in his debut season of 2008-09.
The victory also provided Xavi with a successful send-
off to his career with the Catalan giants before he
joins Qatari club Al Saad.
European success continues to elude Juve,
meanwhile, with the Serie A side coming up short in
their attempt to win the continent’s most prized
trophy for the first time since 1996 and their own
Barca could barely have hoped for a better start, as
Rakitic opened the scoring in style in the fourth
minute when he was the beneficiary of a spell of neat
passing play that bore all the Spanish giants’ familiar
Following Messi’s raking pass out to Jordi Alba,
Neymar slipped the ball in to Andres Iniesta. He in
turn found the Croatian – Rakitic finishing past Buffon
from inside the six-yard box to spark wild
celebrations on the Barca bench.
The goal came somewhat out of the blue, with Juve
having begun on the front foot. And, having fallen
behind, the Italians then saw Arturo Vidal display an
uncharacteristic lack of composure, as the Chilean
blazed over before Neymar was wayward at the other
The Liga champions began to apply further pressure,
and Buffon kept out Dani Alves’ effort with a superb
strong, left-handed save, before Vidal – perhaps
flustered by his part in losing the run of Iniesta for
the opener – was overzealous in his tackling and
narrowly escaped a second early yellow card for
crashing into Neymar.
Juve had half-hearted penalty appeals turned away
following claims of a foul by Alba on Paul Pogba
midway through the half but Barca were largely
controlled in possession, apparently content to take
the pace out of the game.
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