Final, 3-1 Barcelona: It’s all over at the Olimpiastadion in Berlin. Barcelona has won the Champions League.
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Barcelona has re-taken European soccer’s throne from eternal rival Real Madrid with a thoroughly deserved win over Juventus. Barcelona scored early, weathered Juventus’ courageous comeback before out-lasting its opponent and scoring a third goal on the final whistle.
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Barcelona has completed a historic treble — the second in its history — and wins the European Cup for the first time since 2011. Juventus came close to accomplishing the feat but couldn’t withstand Barcelona’s quality.
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That’s all for now and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.
90th minute +7, 3-1 Barcelona: Neymar seals the victory with Barcelona’s third goal of the game.
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Neymar struck on the counter-attack. Pedro is credited with the assist.
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90th minute +5, 2-1 Barcelona: Suarez is limping off the field. Barcelona replaces the goal scorer with Pedro, who signed a new contract with the club this week.
90th minute +2, 2-1 Barcelona: Tevez cuts inside and shoots with his right foot, but ter Stegen was well-positioned again and saves it easily.
90th minute +1, 2-1 Barcelona: Mathieu comes on for Rakitic, as Barcelona tries to seal the win with a defensive-minded substitution.
90th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: There will be a minimum of five minutes of stoppage time in the second half.
90th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Marchisio shoots from distance, drawing a save from ter Stegen.
89th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Coman replaces Evra, as Juventus makes its third and final substitution.
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86th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Suarez is down after twisting his knee awkwardly.
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85th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Juventus makes another change. Llorente enters. Morata exits.
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83rd minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Rakitic volleys a lovely pass to Pique, who misses the target with center back’s finish.
79th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Juventus counters with a substitution. Pereyra replaces Vidal.
79th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Xavi replaces Iniesta, as Barcelona makes its first substitution. Xavi takes the captain’s armband from Iniesta in what is his final game for Barcelona.
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78th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Juventus has lost the three Champions League finals in which it has appeared. It must sail in uncharted territory to reverse the trend against Barcelona.
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72nd minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Neymar appeared to have scored a third goal for Barcelona, but the referee disallows it.
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Replays showed Neymar headed Alba’s cross onto his arm, and momentum carried the ball into Buffon’s goal.
70th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: The referee cautions Suarez for a late challenge on Bonucci.
68th minute, 2-1 Barcelona: Messi emerges from the shadows to create Barcelona’s scoring chances, and Suarez finishes it off to restore his team’s lead.
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Messi ended a 30-yard dribble by shooting powerfully on goal. Buffon saved the shot but failed to control the rebound, which Suarez thumped home from impossibly close range.
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65th minute, 1-1: Pogba shoots from 25 yards out, but it bounces straight to ter Stegen.
63rd minute, 1-1: Tevez misses high and wide with a shot from 20 yards out.
Marchisio’s goal has given Juventus fresh impetus, as the game enters the last 30 minutes of normal time.
55th minute, 1-1: Morata scores, and the game is tied.
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Marchisio’s back-heel to Lichsteiner led to a chance for Tevez, who spun and shot. Ter Stegen saved Tevez’s effort, but Morata arrived first and shot home the rebound.
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After scoring the decisive goal in the semifinal triumph against Real Madrid, Morata moves to make amends to his former team by bringing Juventus level with Barcelona.
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51st minute, 1-0 Barcelon: Messi has some good interplay with his teammates at the top of Juventus’ penalty area, but the move finishes with the Argentinian superstar shooting inches over Buffon’s goal.
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48th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Barcelona surges forward on the counter-attack through Rakitic, who passes left to Suarez. The Uruguayan tries to poke it past Buffon inside the near post, but the Juventus goalkeeper denies him with another fine save.
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46th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: The second half is underway.
Halftime, 1-0 Barcelona: That’s the end of the first half. Barcelona leads by one.
Barcelona controlled the first half and scored the goal its play merited early on. Buffon’s tremendous save prevented Barcelona from doubling its lead before Juventus came to life and asserted itself toward the middle of the period.
Barcelona had better possession and scoring chances than Juventus. Barcelona also enjoyed a territorial advantage. Yet, the game can pivot in one moment — especially if Juventus capitalizes on a mistake at the back or if fortune smiles on the “Old Lady” of Italian soccer.
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45th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Marchisio fires another long-range shot on goal, but this one flies straight into ter Stegen’s waiting hands.
41st minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Pogba trips himself and falls on Messi’s leg from behind, earning a yellow car.
40th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Neymar pounces on a deflection and hits a first-time shot on goal, but Buffon parries it over the crossbar.
39th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Suarez gains possession on the right, dribbles forward and shoots. Suarez’s effort beats Buffon but rolls inches wide of the far post.
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38th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: The game is speeding toward the end of the first half with Barcelona ahead on the scoreboard and outperforming Juventus on balance of play. Barcelona keeps the ball better than any team in the world but is equally adept at winning it back when Juventus is in possession — often in dangerous areas of the field.
34th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Juventus players are surrounding the referee after Alba appeared to trip Pogba on the edge of the penalty area.
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31st minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Juventus paid dearly for its awe-struck opening few minutes, but the Italian club seems to have shaken off the early woes and now has its focus.
Barcelona still has the advantage in possession, but Juventus has pushed the game into Barcelona’s half with power, speed and determination.
27th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Neymar’s meekly hit low shot doesn’t trouble Buffon, who saves it comfortably.
26th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Marchisio thunders a shot from distance, but it narrowly misses the target.
24th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Morata curls a shot wide of ter Stegen’s goal.
Juventus is starting to gain a foot-hold in the game.
20th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Juventus creates danger in Barcelona’s third of the field, as Pogba surges forward and crosses for Tevez. Only Mascherano’s intervention prevented Tevez from reaching the ball.
16th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Alba fires a shot over Buffon’s goal, as Barcelona continues to probe for a second goal.
13th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Alves slips inside and shoots from 10 yards out, but Buffon palms it away.
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11th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: The referee cautions Vidal for his foul on Busquets.
10th minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Rakitic’s goal was fast, but the Croatian’s goal wasn’t scored with record-breaking speed.
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Ninth minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Neymar threatens to double Barcelona’s lead but he slices his right-footed shot just high and wide of Buffon’s goal.
Fourth minute, 1-0 Barcelona: Rakitic has given Barcelona an early lead after tapping Iniesta’s pass into the goal from eight yards out.
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Rakitic finished Barcelon’s first attack of the game with aplomb.
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First minute, 0-0: The 2015 Champions League final is underway.
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There are no major surprises in the starting lineups.
Allegri has opted for Barzagli in central defense. The veteran replaces the injured Chiellini. Barzagli’s communication with Bonucci, Evra and Lichsteiner will be critical, as Messi and Neymar cut inside at any given moment to support Suarez.
Barcelona’s lineup is settled and potent. The Messi-Neymar-Suarez trident garners the headlines, but Alves and Alba also will be key for Barcelona. If they can create danger from the wide areas, Juventus will have to spread itself and leave pockets of space open in the center.
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2 p.m.: Here are the starting lineups and substitutes:
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12:45 p.m. ET: Barcelona and Juventus are within arms’ length of club soccer’s biggest prize, but their toughest test stands in the way of glory.
Barcelona and Juventus meet Saturday in the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The teams navigated their way past European soccer’s strongest teams and conquered some of its biggest cathedrals en route to Germany’s capital city. A chance at making history now awaits these powers of the Spanish, Italian, European and global game.
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Barcelona and Juventus both can win a historic treble of domestic league, domestic cup and Champions League titles, but only one can complete the feat. Barcelona already has locked this season’s La Liga (Spanish first division) and Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) trophies in its cabinet. Juventus clinched titles in both Serie A (Italian first division) and Coppa Italia (Italian Cup) last month.
Barcelona is the favorite coming into the game, as its attacking “trident” of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi is one of the most fearsome front threes the soccer world has ever seen. They’re supported by a team of talented and experienced champions — most of whom are hungry for their first European title since 2011. Head coach Luis Enrique has fit the pieces together masterfully.
Juventus isn’t content merely to accept its underdog status. The “Old Lady” of Italian soccer reinforced its dominance of the local scene this season by winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive Serie A title. Legendary pass-master Andrea Pirlo, legend-in-waiting Paul Pogba and Chilean workhorse Arturo Vidal must assert control of the midfield if Juventus is to prevail. Head coach Massimiliano Allegri must find a way to contain Barcelona while showcasing his own team’s attacking strength.
The Champions League final kicks off at 2:45 p.m. Join us right here for all the action from the Olympiastadion.
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Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@SkyFootball