By 90Min
June 01, 2019

As Spain and Italy's finest prepared to do battle in a mouthwatering Champions League final in Berlin on 6 June 2015, Barcelona's superstar trio of attacking stars were in the mood to put on a show.

With both the Catalans and Juventus having wrapped up the La Liga and Serie A titles respectively, and both having their country's domestic cup to their name that season, both sides were aiming to seal the treble in the German capital.

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Juventus brought a star-studded side which boasted a huge wealth of experience, but Barcelona were armed with a trident of South American superstars who were not to be denied on the biggest stage of them all.

The Pep Guardiola-inspired golden era was on its way out as Xavi made the final appearance of his decorated Barça career in Berlin, but the latest wave of Blaugrana brilliance was of no lesser command, and the Catalans sealed their fifth European crown in style.

Bidding to win the Champions League for a fourth time in nine years, victory at the Olympiastadion would be just the latest instalment in an era-defining period of success for Barcelona, and Luis Enrique's side were in the mood to make more history.

Any fears over a potentially cagey start to a game between two European giants were quickly dispelled as Ivan Rakitic fired Barca ahead just four minutes into the game.

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The iconic Andres Iniesta was the maestro once more to give his side the initiative, making a typically incisive darting run into the Juventus penalty area, before unselfishly squaring for his central midfield partner to slot home past Gianluigi Buffon with relative ease.

Rakitic's strike was the fourth fastest goal ever in a Champions League final but, if early goals are supposed to set the tone for an eventful game, this one certainly bucked the trend - at least in the first half.

Because afterwards, Juve dipped into their vast reserves of experience and big-game know-how to steady themselves, regain composure and play their way back into proceedings.

Massimiliano Allegri's side were unable to equalise before the interval, but perhaps battening down the hatches and preventing any further onslaught from the rampant Catalans after their flying start was an achievement in itself for the Italians.

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Juve held their own against the imperious Spaniards, though a side which possessed the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Carlos Tevez was never going to be one to just make up the numbers, and I Bianconeri came out all guns blazing in the second half.

The Serie A side required just ten minutes after the interval to hit back, as Alvaro Morata, on loan in Turin from Barca's arch rivals Real Madrid, struck a stunning blow to wipe out the Catalans' lead and restore parity for Juve.

Carlos Tevez engineered space in the penalty area to get his shot away, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen was well-placed to deny the Argentine's powerful effort with a strong hand.

However, the German was only able to palm the shot back into the danger area, and Morata showed the true instincts of a classic No 9 to slot home the rebound.

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The tie was level and proceedings were tight, but the game would take a decisive turn through two huge moments in the space of two minutes just after the hour mark.

Pogba was hauled down in Barça's penalty area through a challenge from Dani Alves, sparking impassioned penalty appeals from all in black and white - handing referee Cuneyt Cakir centre stage in Berlin.

The Turkish official waved away the appeals, denying Juventus a clear chance to take the control of the tie, and Barcelona wasted no time in capitalising on a missed opportunity for their Italian counterparts.

Just two minutes after the penalty cry from the Old Lady, Lionel Messi rose to the fore after a quiet first hour by his usually electric standards.

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The Argentine maestro drove right through the heart of Juve's midfield and defence before unleashing a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area.

It appeared to be Messi's moment, but Buffon managed to to get down to with a low save to deny the iconic attacker yet another historic moment.

However, just as Ter Stegen had made Morata's task a simple one to equalise earlier in the second half, Buffon made a similar error in judgement, as the legendary goalkeeper was only able to push the ball down to the feet of the predatory Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan showed great instinct and desire to beat former Premier League rival Patrice Evra to the loose ball before firing home the rebound, handing Barcelona the lead for a second time - though somewhat against the run of play.

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A hammer blow to Juventus, Suarez's strike knocked a significant amount of stuffing out of I Bianconeri as Barcelona continued to attack, with Messi and Neymar growing into the game at ever increasing rates - much to Juve's peril.

The Catalans survived a scare as Ter Stegen completely misjudged the flight of the ball from a Juve corner, and was fortunate to see the ball land on the roof of his net after his unconvincing flapping efforts.

Barça's position only grew in strength as the second half wore on, and there was even room for a poignant moment of sentiment and celebration for one of the game's greatest players on the biggest stage on the 77th minute.

Xavi entered the fray for one final appearance in a Barça shirt, replacing the influential Iniesta who duly obliged in handing over the captain's armband to his midfield accomplice as the sun set on arguably the greatest partnership of the last decade.

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The chance for sentiment was a fleeting one, though, as Juventus looked to fight their way back, using their physical superiority from set-pieces as a last-ditch effort to haul themselves level, with Pogba seeing a headed effort drift just over the bar.

Barça's efforts to put the tie to bed in the final ten minutes fell agonisingly short of enabling them a desired comfort zone, as Gerard Pique fired over the bar from close range and Jeremy Mathieu's 91st minute introduction was a clear sign of some underlying anxiety.

The Catalans had to hold on in stoppage time as Juve knocked on the door, but Barça maintained a clear attacking threat with Messi, Neymar and substitute Pedro on the pitch, and it was the latter two who combined to seal the victory.

Barça found themselves with a three-on-two advantage in the dying moments of the game, and Pedro worked the ball well before feeding Neymar in space.

The Brazilian had plenty of time to compose himself with one touch before firing a left-footed effort beyond Buffon with a second from close range. The game was finally decided, and Barça's firepower was emphatically decisive.

Europe's elite title returned to Catalonia after a four year absence, once again stamping the Blaugrana's status as the dominant force in an all-conquering era of success for the La Liga giants.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)