There were times in Turin when you could just about glimpse the Barcelona that had once been, and the Barcelona they were trying to become. For a club desperate to shrug off its fetid present, that at least must represent progress. Ousmane Dembélé’s early goal and Lionel Messi’s late penalty were good enough to see off Juventus. A more clinical Barcelona might even have won by more. But this was a good night for Ronald Koeman’s side; and how rarely we have been able to say that of late.

Certainly Koeman will have been impressed with the immediate reaction to Saturday’s 3-1 defeat in the clásico. Off the pitch, Barcelona remain an utter shambles, with the resignation of president Josep Bartomeu this week only adding to the farce currently engulfing the Camp Nou. But it is to Koeman’s partial credit that on the pitch, they are still only an occasional shambles.

And for all the waste and ruin, there remains so much to like about this team. Continue reading

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