Sunday, 07 June 2015 00:19

Barcelona completes the treble and secures fifth Champion League Title

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Barcelona celebrate after Neymar scored its third goal against Juventus in the Champions League final. ReutersLuis Enrique's men have matched Pep Guardiola's treble of 2009 this season, adding the final prize with a 3-1 win over Juventus in Berlin. Barca adds its name to an elite list with five European Cup wins.

Barcelona has won their fifth European Cup after a 3-1 win over Juventus at Berlin's Olympic Stadium. The Spanish champions complete the second treble in their history, having won both the domestic league and Cup this season.

Luis Suarez's 67th minute strike proved to be the match-winning goal after former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata had cancelled out Ivan Rakitic's opener. Neymar added an extra goal to completely secure the win with the last kick of the ball. Barcelona has won the tournament five times in its history, four times since the Champions League was founded in 1993.

Luis Enrique's men completely dominated from the first whistle and exchanged passes across the field in the opening exchanges. On three minutes, Messi delivered a wonderful switch of play, introducing left-back Jordi Alba whose inside-pass found Andres Iniesta, the midfielder drawing the ball square for former Schalke midfielder Rakitic who finished into the open net.

Spending most of his time in the inside-right channels, Messi was not at his explosive best, but his playmaking role was hardly an accident - the Argentine dictated the tempo, at times bringing the game to a halt when facing one of his opponents in an attempt to draw a challenge or slowly identify another passing option.

On 12 minutes, Messi was involved in the attack, stemming from the right-hand side where Dani Alves struck on target from 15 yards. The shot from the Brazilian produced an exceptional piece of goalkeeping from Gianluigi Buffon who kept the score at 1-0 to the Spaniards.

Juventus' attempts were restricted to long-range efforts with Claudio Marchisio stinging the palms of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen on 28 minutes. Barca continued to control the play with Suarez failing to beat the Juventus number one twice towards the end of the first 45 minutes.

Buffon, returning to the scene of Italy's 2006 World Cup triumph, kept Juventus' head above water early in the second half with a fine save from Suarez on 48 minutes. The 37-year-old denied Messi two minutes later before the Old Lady would turn the game on its head at the other end of the pitch.

On 55 minutes, the Italian champions, also on the hunt for a treble, restored parity. Marchisio's exquisite back heel carved out the situation, the ball cutting back to Tevez whose shot was saved only for Morata to slide in the rebound. The Spanish striker became just the second player to score for a foreign club in a Champions League final - Xabi Alonso held that feat on his own from his time at Liverpool.

Juventus suddenly had a wind beneath their sails, shooting towards the club's own supporters. On 62 minutes, Tevez ought to have hit the target from the edge of the box, but scuffed his strike over the bar. Two minutes later, Paul Pogba's dribble inside and strike was thwarted by German keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Amid strong claims from Pogba and Juve players for a penalty, the Italians switched off at the other end as Messi slalomed past several challenges, his shot falling to the feet of Uruguayan Suarez who converted in the 67th minute - it was the 121st goal between Messi, Suarez and Neymar this season.

Four minutes after Suarez's strike, a third goal was ruled out by the Turkish officials after the ball struck Neymar's hand after he misjudged a header, a few yards from goal. Gerard Pique had the chance to put the game beyond doubt on 81 minutes but blazed his one-touch finish over the bar.

In the sixth minute of added time, the Spanish side emphatically put the icing on the cake as Neymar got on the scoresheet, recording the 122nd goal of the campaign for Barcelona's outstanding attacking trident.

The Camp Nou club joins Liverpool, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Real Madrid in an exclusive group of European sides who have won the continent's premier competition five times or more.

-Deutsche Welle

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