Messi brace helps Barca jump Juve

The Associated Press

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi shakes hands with Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after their Champions League group match on Tuesday.

The Associated PressBARCELONA (AP) — Lionel Messi finally added Italy great Gianluigi Buffon on his long, long list of vanquished goalkeepers.

Messi struck two shots past Buffon to lead Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Juventus in their opening match of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Two of soccer’s all-time best players, the 39-year-old Buffon had denied Messi a goal in their previous three meetings, including Juventus’ 3-0 aggregate win in last season’s quarterfinals.

But once he found room to work, Messi picked Buffon’s Juventus apart — to take some revenge from last year’s elimination and continue his superb start to the current season.

Messi grabbed his 95th and 96th goals in the Champions League, breaking the deadlock just before the end of the first half in the Group D game. After he had hit the post and played a part in Ivan Rakitic’s second goal, Messi rounded off the commanding win.

“Tonight [Messi] did score [against Buffon] because we left him too much space,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “[Messi] plays perfectly well in tight spaces, but today he had more space, and I would even say that we made it easier for him, leaving him so open.”

Hodgson to take over Palace

The Associated Press

Roy Hodgson returned to soccer management for the first time since leaving his job as England coach last year, taking over at Premier League struggler Crystal Palace on Tuesday as a replacement for the fired Frank de Boer.

The 70-year-old Hodgson signed a two-year contract with his boyhood club.

Palace lost its first four league games of the season without scoring, with its players failing to adapt to a more expansive style of play under De Boer following his arrival in the offseason.

The Dutchman was fired on Monday after just 77 days at the club.

Hodgson’s four-year spell with England ended in humiliating fashion at the European Championship in 2016 when his team was beaten by Iceland in the round of 16.

Within minutes of the final whistle, he announced he’d be stepping down — even though his contract was due to expire anyway.

“I am very excited to be back in club football,” Hodgson said, “and it is a long while since I have enjoyed the day-to-day sessions of training.”Speech

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