November 22, 2017 / 9:39 PM / a year ago

Soccer-Barca leave Messi on the bench and qualify with 0-0 draw

TURIN, Italy, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Barcelona allowed themselves the luxury of starting with Lionel Messi on the bench and still held out comfortably for a 0-0 draw at Juventus to reach the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.

Barcelona, who brought on Messi early in the second half, enjoyed long spells of possession against a lacklustre Juve in a dull Group D match which saw both teams apparently happy to play for a draw.

Juventus, who are second, will qualify for the last 16 unless they lose at Olympiakos in their final game and Sporting beat Barcelona away.

Sporting kept alive their hopes by beating Olympiakos 3-1 in Lisbon in the other game with Bas Dort scoring twice. Barcelona, 3-0 winners over Juve in their previous meeting in the group, have 11 points followed by Juve on eight, Sporting on seven and eliminated Olympiakos on one. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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