Alashkert FC
Leg 2Aggregate: 6 - 0
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Minnesota United FC
New England Revolution
12:00 AM UTC Jul 19, 2018
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FC Sion
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Philadelphia Union
Orlando City SC
LIVE 38'
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Chicago Fire
Louisville City FC
12:30 AM UTC Jul 19, 2018
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Houston Dynamo
Sporting Kansas City
12:30 AM UTC Jul 19, 2018
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Portland Timbers
2:30 AM UTC Jul 19, 2018
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Transfer Rater: Kante to Barcelona

Football Whispers

Mina's future looks bright but not at Barcelona


Transfer Rater: Paco Alcacer to Southampton

Football Whispers

Lionel Messi earns perfect 10, Andres Iniesta turns back the clock vs. Juve

Lionel Messi continued his rampant start to the season to help Barcelona slay a sorry Juventus side who simply crumbled at the Camp Nou and were barely recognizable from the team who dumped the Catalans out of the Champions League last season so comprehensively.

Messi began and ended the rout with two crisp finishes, finally beating Gianluigi Buffon in his fourth game against the Italy veteran, while Ivan Rakitic's goal in between had the Argentine's prints all over it.

Andres Iniesta also rolled the years back with a display that whipped the Barca faithful into a party atmosphere.

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Ousmane Dembele had a bright debut and showed he is also determined to fight to win the ball back as he did in the build-up to the second goal, while Nelson Semedo is looking like a very smart acquisition.


Hard to think of any after such a resounding win, although critics of the recently maligned board may fear that the rebellion against president Josep Maria Bartomeu may start to fade away with the team in such soaring form.

Manager rating out of 10:

9 -- Ernesto Valverde may not have been the most inspiring choice to succeed Luis Enrique this summer but now we are seeing why the coach is so highly respected in the Spanish game. His team selection was as expected, but his team are playing fluid, unpredictable football, swatting aside the likes of Espanyol as well as European giants like Juventus.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 7 -- Made a strong early save from Mattia De Sciglio which the referee did not spot and then kept out a thumping drive from Miralem Pjanic, and did well to hold onto his clean sheet in the second half.

DF Nelson Semedo, 7 -- Is already starting to make a name for himself at Camp Nou and linked up superbly with Dembele down the right side. Lacked a bit of awareness in defence and got booked for pushing Douglas Costa to the ground.

DF Gerard Pique, 6 -- Did well to shut down Gonzalo Higuain when the striker caught sight of goal and was a big presence throughout the game, although he was let off the hook when his skidded clearance was blasted over by Paulo Dybala. Later cleared the ball from the line with his body.

DF Samuel Umtiti, 7 -- Exhibited his usual calm when defending high up the pitch, displaying great control and starting attacks, while continuing to plug any holes at the back.

DF Jordi Alba, 8 -- Continued his new lease of life under Valverde and has found a new level of understanding with Messi.

MF Ivan Rakitic, 7 -- Another player who has enjoyed a boost in form under the new boss, the Croatian worked hard throughout and was constantly looking to drive the team forward. Eventually was rewarded with another goal against Juventus, adding to his opening strike in the 2015 Champions League final.

MF Sergio Busquets, 7 -- A calm presence throughout, he prevented Juve's depleted midfield from finding too much space.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 12:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at Camp Nou on September 12, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.
Lionel Messi continued his rampant start with another brace, bringing his goal total for the season already to eight.

MF Andres Iniesta, 8 -- The captain received a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from fans when he left the pitch after dictating the tempo of the game and leaving Juve helpless to stop his dribbles and searching passes, almost rivaling Messi as the standout player. Doubts remain about his future, but he proved he still has plenty left to give Barca.

FW Ousmane Dembele, 8 -- Had an excellent full debut after an impressive cameo against Espanyol, causing Alex Sandro plenty of headaches as he and Semedo owned the right-hand side of the pitch. Played a major role in both the first and second goals.

FW Luis Suarez, 7 -- Still lacking sharpness in the area but worked hard to keep providing space and passes to Messi, including a subtle lay off for the Argentine's first strike.

FW Lionel Messi, 10 -- Messi has begun the season with fire in his belly and the usually monstrous Juventus proved no obstacle as he waltzed his way past their hapless defenders, giving Medhi Benatia a particularly torrid time. His two strikes were works of art, while he provided the spark for Rakitic's goal and hammered the post. Simply sensational.


MF Sergi Roberto, NR -- Redeployed on the right of the attack when he came on, it's starting to look like his days as a full-back may be over.

MF Paulinho, NR -- Got another cameo role and still needs more opportunities to see if he will be the right fit for Barca.

MF Andre Gomes, NR -- Got his second taste of action this season after also coming on as a late sub against Espanyol.

Richard Martin covers FC Barcelona for ESPN FC. Twitter: @rich9908.


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