Thursday, April 18, 2024

Champions League success for Barcelona

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BERLIN (AP) – Barcelona won the Champions League football title for the fourth time in a decade on Saturday, with Luis Suarez grabbing the crucial goal in a 3-1 victory over Juventus at the end of a season that began with the Uruguay striker serving a ban for biting.

The $110-million recruit from Liverpool scored Barcelona’s second in the 68th minute after Lionel Messi’s shot was palmed away by goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Neymar had a goal disallowed for handball but, with the final going into a seventh minute of stoppage time, the Brazil striker found time to score again. This time it counted.

Ivan Rakitic had sent Barcelona into a fourth-minute lead, but the Spanish champions failed to build on their early dominance before Juventus levelled ten minutes into the second half through Alvaro Morata.

Juventus, though, couldn’t prevent Barcelona from collecting the European Cup for the fifth time as the formidable Messi-Neymar-Suarez front three took their goal tally to 122 this season.

The triumph comes after four years without success in European competition and ensures both coach Luis Enrique and Suarez end their first season with the club with a treble.

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