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Neymar has Gone but Messi Still Impressive

Neymar has Gone but Messi Still Impressive
Lionel Messi
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BARCELONA - Two fine goals from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona to a comfortable 3-0 win over last season's Champions League finalists Juventus at the Nou Camp.

Messi struck right on half-time, drilling his shot in off the post after a brilliant one-two with Luis Suarez. Ivan Rakitic scored Barca's second after Messi's shot was cleared off the line. The Argentine then wrapped up victory with a superb left-footed goal from 20 yards. Running in from the right wing, he beat several Juve defenders before placing the ball past goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

This two goals from Leo Messi and one from Ivan Rakitic gave Barcelona the perfect start. Since that 5-1 aggregate defeat against Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, Barcelona have played four times. Their record now reads: four wins, 12 goals scored, none conceded. The Italians were without six of the men who defeated them last season it is true, but this was still three goals and still Juventus.

More importantly, this is still Barcelona. Neymar has gone but Messi is still there and he has already eight goals this season. Neymar’s replacement, Ousmane Dembele, helped create the opening goal and offered glimpses of his contribution to come. At right-back, Jose Semedo is not Dani Alves, but he impressed. And under Ernesto Valverde, Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Rakitic look like what they once were.
 
In Tuesday's other Champions League results, Manchester United 3-0 Basel, Celtic 0-5 Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich 3-0 Anderlecht, Chelsea 6-0 Qarabag, CSKA Moscow 2-1 Benfica, Sporting Lisbon 3-2 Olympiakos and Roma 0-0 Atletico Madrid.



(rnz)