Juventus Send Barcelona Out Of Champions League
Juventus held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou on Wednesday to reach the Champions League semifinals 3-0 on aggregate.
Barca had hoped for a second great escape after they overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the Last 16, but the Italians proved a different class by completely neutering the fearsome attack of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in a defensive masterclass.
Juventus, who gained revenge for their defeat to Barca in the 2015 Champions League final, join holders Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Monaco in Friday’s semifinal draw.
Juve showed great tactical savvy by pressing high and preventing Barca dominating the ball like they did against PSG, although Messi should have done better with his shot from the edge of the area after 19 minutes.
The Argentine maestro then stung Gianluigi Buffon’s palms for the first time on the half-hour mark before hitting the side-netting on the follow-up.
At the other end, Higuain and Juan Cuadrado came close to breaking Barca hearts with a crucial away goal but lacked the required finishing to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Neymar, who sparked the comeback against PSG cut a frustrated figure as referee Bjorn Kjuipers allowed a number of hefty challenges go unpunished while Messi had to go deeper in search of the elusive opener.
Barca coach Luis Enrique threw on Paco Alcacer as the hosts played with four forwards for the final half hour, their best chance falling to Messi after a rare Buffon error from a corner, but unfortunately he skied the effort with his right boot.
Juventus expertly saw out the final stages to register their eighth clean sheet in 10 Champions League games this season as Barca bow out of the race.
Elsewhere, Monaco beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in the second-leg of their last eight clash Wednesday to progress 6-3 on aggregate.
Dortmund skipper Marco Reus halved his side’s deficit early in the second half after Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao had put the hosts ahead, but substitute Valere Germain put the seal on their victory as Monaco go through to the semis for the first time since 2004.