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UEFA Champions League: Barcelona Reach Knockouts With Draw At Juventus

Barcelona earned qualification to the Champions League knockout stage with a 0-0 draw against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday.

Barca star Lionel Messi started the Group D clash from the bench, marking the first time since Oct. 16 of last year he had not begun a Barca match by manager’s choice.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had played the full 90 minutes in Barca’s 3-0 win at Leganes on Saturday, and was held out until the 56th minute in Turin, when he entered for Gerard Deulofeu.

And the match suffered from Messi’s absence and the table situation for both sides, with a draw suiting both teams stay 1-2 atop the group.

Lucas Digne flubbed his lines after a defensive mistake from Juan Cuadrado left him free in the box in the 69th minute, but his unconvincing cross was easily cut out by the Juve defence in what was the best chance of the second half.

The result ensures Barca will finish atop the group with one match still to play, while Juve are three points back in second.

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