Messi’s double inspires Barca to Juventus revenge

Barcelona defied an outgoing off-field crisis as another Lionel Messi-inspired display exacted revenge on Juventus to open their Champions League campaign with a resounding 3-0 win on Tuesday. Messi was involved in all three goals as he beat Gianluigi Buffon for the first time in his career to open the floodgates just before half-time. Ivan Rakitic added a second after Messi’s run and cross opened up the Juventus defence before the Argentine rounded off the scoring by drilling home his second of the evening 19 minutes from time. Victory puts…

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UEFA Champions League to test Klopp’s progress at Liverpool

When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool in October 2015, he made a promise: “If we sit here in four years, I think we (will) win one title,” he said. Next month will mark the second anniversary of Klopp’s appointment, the halfway point of that four-year cycle. There has undoubtedly been progress in that time; a team who were 10th in the Premier League when he arrived finished fourth last season. Whether they are significantly closer to winning a major trophy is more open to debate. Liverpool reached two finals in…

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Rampant Man City ready to march on Feyenoord

Pep Guardiola’s rampant Manchester City will be keen to keep the momentum going as they open the hunt for Champions League glory against a diminished Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Wednesday. After mauling Liverpool 5-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, City now travel to face the Dutch champions – who face a daunting prospect after a 15-year absence from the group stage of the competition. Eyes in particular will be on City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, whose sublime form played a major part in the Liverpool drubbing and who is…

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Eden Hazard hopeful for UEFA Champions League title win

Chelsea footballer Eden Hazard says he is keen to win the Champions League title as his club begins its European campaign with a group stage match against Azerbaijani side Qarabag on Tuesday. Hazard joined Chelsea shortly after they won their first Champions League title in 2012 but the London side have not won the competition since. It came close in the 2013-14 season but lost to Atletico Madrid in the semifinals. Chelsea failed to qualify for the Champions League in the last campaign and as they prepare to return to…

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