Barcelona and Juventus took very different paths to the round of 16, but the two sides heavily favored to advance out of Group G did exactly that Tuesday.
Despite resting Lionel Messi, the Blaugrana booked their place in the knockout stage of the Champions League with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv.
The Italians, meanwhile, toiled at home against Ferencvaros, needing a 92nd-minute header from substitute Alvaro Morata to claim a 2-1 victory.
Barcelona currently sit top of the group with two matches remaining, including a clash at the Camp Nou between the continental heavyweights next month.
With Barca ravaged by injuries, manager Ronald Koeman was forced into several lineup changes. The new-look XI had no issue dispatching the Ukrainian side, though, with a Martin Braithwaite double sandwiching goals from American full-back Sergino Dest and substitute Antoine Griezmann.
“We played really well. It’s a dream to have contributed with my first goal for the club,” Dest said post-match. “I tried hard to hold my position because I’m happy in this team and I want to keep my place.”
The job wasn’t nearly as convincing in Turin, where Juventus had to come from behind after conceding an early goal to Myrto Uzuni.
But Cristiano Ronaldo recorded his first Champions League tally of the campaign with a fierce strike from outside the area, and after hitting the post twice, Juve completed the fightback in the 92nd minute when Morata’s header bumbled through the legs of the Ferencvaros ‘keeper.