Barcelona Champions League Title Trophy
Barcelona players with the Champions League trophyReuters

A trademark Lionel Messi run, shot and a Luis Suarez goal was the difference between Barcelona and Juventus in a pulsating end-to-end Champions League final, as Barca completed a momentous treble in some style at a packed Olympiastadion in Berlin.

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The irresistible front three of Barcelona were the talk of the town heading into this final, and they proved to be the difference as well, even if all the goals did not flow from their ridiculously-good boots.

The opening goal came via Ivan Rakitic, in just the fourth minute of the match, before Juventus made it interesting early in the second half as Alvaro Morata struck. However, a jinking run from Messi, followed by a shot, which was saved by Gianluigi Buffon, allowed Suarez to tuck in the rebound on 68 minutes and that proved to be the winner as Barcelona ran away with a 3-1 victory, with Neymar adding a late third.

Barcelona were in complete control in the first half, dictating the pace of play, with Juventus chasing a few shadows and more. The plan from Luis Enrique was to leave Messi and Neymar as wide as possible in order to create some space in the middle, and that did create a few openings.

However, the goal, in the fourth minute, came when Messi cut in from the left and delivered an inch-perfect diagonal pass to Jordi Alba, who in turn gave the ball to Neymar. The Brazilian took a couple of touches before finding the run of Andres Iniesta, who laid the ball on a plate for Rakitic to sweep the ball home, with Buffon able to do little to prevent the ball from hitting the net.

The early goal changed Juventus' plans of keeping it tight completely, but they also could not open themselves up either as a second early goal would have killed off the Champions League final before it had even warmed-up.

Barca did create plenty of chances, and if not for some profligate finishing and some outstanding goalkeeper from Buffon, it might have been different. Neymar had a couple, one off another diagonal from Messi, which was just ahead of him, and another a shot which just flew over the bar, while Dani Alves thought he had made it 2-0 only to see Buffon pull off a marvellous save with his left hand.

Juventus showed glimpses of their goalscoring ability on the break, with Vidal firing one high and Morata guiding another just wide, while Javier Mascherano had to make a crucial interception to prevent Paul Pogba, very much on the periphery of the game, from finding Carlos Tevez.

Barcelona Luis Suarez Ivan Rakitic Gianluigi Buffon Juventus Champions League Final
Barcelona forward Luis Suarez scores the winner past Gianluigi Buffon in the Champions League finalReuters

Despite the Barcelona dominance, however, the score remained 1-0 at halftime, which would have given Juventus hope of finding the equaliser in the second 45. It was Barcelona who came all guns blazing in the second half – Suarez forcing a brilliant save from Buffon -- but Juventus were the ones to find the goal on 55 minutes.

A brilliant backheel from Claudio Marchisio set Stephan Lichtsteiner, one of the few times the Juve fullbacks poured forward, free on the right. The right-back picked out Tevez inside the box, with the Argentinian swivelling and pulling off a brilliant strike, which was well kept out by Marc Andre Ter Stegen. However, the ball popped up kindly for Morata, the former Real Madrid man, who made no mistake with the finish.

Despite the equaliser, though, that feeling of Barcelona will score the winner was very much there, and so it proved as Messi forced a nice save from Buffon, with Suarez snapping up the rebound to put his mark on the Champions League final.

After that goal, there was time for Xavi Hernandez to make a record 151st Champions League appearance and also his final one in a Barcelona shirt, as the Spanish champions saw off the final 20 minutes of the match comfortably enough, with Neymar, denied a goal after his header was ruled out, rightly, for a hand ball earlier, smashing home the third on the break right at the end.

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