Valverde happy to be ahead of Real Madrid

Then, of course, there was Lionel Messi, who scored twice in Barcelona's first two league matches before bringing his total for the season to five with a hat-trick against Espanyol on Sunday.

The Juventus star was questioned on the subject today, ahead of his meeting with Messi in the Champions League this evening, and while he was keen to assure that it is a pleasure to play alongside his fellow Argentine, he also admitted that it has a definite effect on his style of play.

As Barcelona's coach Ernesto Valverde put it, "when Messi has the ball, anything can happen". The onus will again be on the Juventus #10 to inspire the Old Lady once again to another memorable win but is it all too much to ask for him this time?

Allegri added, "We know that playing three games in a row against Barcelona - considering the two of last year - without conceding a goal, would be very difficult, even if Juve could do it".

Iniesta's display was only upstaged by Messi, who ended his hoodoo against Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon with lethal strikes either side of halftime, scoring for the seventh time in three games.

"We must grow and be more focused and solid at the mental level".

The first half was dull, apart from long-range attempts by Miralem Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio for Juventus, until Messi struck just before the interval. It was a good game against great opposition, which adds to the importance.

And Bartomeu claimed Barca's start to the season was reason for the club's members to reject a vote of no confidence motion against him launched by a former presidential candidate Augusti Benedito.

On the pitch, however, things have gone surprisingly well since the Supercopa. He feels no pressure when he is compared to the best in the world. Getafe has four points and is yet to win at home.

Barcelona made a lot of headlines over the summer, mostly for the wrong reasons.

Giorgio Chiellini has been sidelined with a calf injury since the 1 of September; his return date is not clear.

ON LIVORNO - "The first thought goes to Livorno, my city, after what has happened".

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