Barcelona draws 0-0 at Juventus to seal top spot in group

Rajoy defended his decision to temporarily take over running Catalonia under a section of the Spain Constitution that allows central authorities to intervene in regions where officials act outside the law.

Players stand on the pitch before the UEFA Champions League Group D football match Juventus Barcelona on November 22, 2017 at the Juventus stadium in Turin.

This was proved by the fact he missed Argentina's friendly against Nigeria last week.

Messi and Dybala embrace at full-time.

Paulo Dybala has scored 12 goals in 13 Serie A appearances this season
Paulo Dybala has scored 12 goals in 13 Serie A appearances this season Credit MARCO BERTORELLO AFP

And Valverde admits he wanted to keep Messi in reserve for when the game opened up in the second half.

"It was an internal matter, we thought it was the right match to not play for 90 minutes and I don't want to talk about it too much".

But Barca will be the happier of the two, having cemented their place in the last 16 with the draw.

Barcelona visited the Italian champions and played out a goalless draw in the penultimate game of the Group Stage phase.

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A smart save from Ter Stegen in stoppage time from a well-struck, first-time Paulo Dybala effort was the closest the hosts really came to breaking the deadlock all evening, however they were unable to and the spoils ended up being shared in Turin.

Gerard Deulofeu started alongside Luis Suarez and both struggled to break down the Juve defence.

The Barca manager believed Messi would be more dangerous in the second-half, in more open spaces.

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Ernesto Valverde has revealed that Lionel Messi was benched for Barcelona's clash with Juventus due to fatigue and tactical reasons.

Barça's number 10 was named on the substitutes' bench, even though he wasn't injured, and nobody could quite understand why.

Sporting kept alive their own hopes by beating Olympiakos 3-1 in Lisbon. Still according to the Spanish news site, Dybala would've also confessed the following: that this current Juventus side can't compete for a UCL title.

Even so, coach Massimiliano Allegri enjoyed the match.

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