Barcelona fighting for silverware in Champions League, Spain La Liga, Copa del Rey, International Champions Cup
Juventus 3-0 Barcelona Fc
Juventus goals: Dybala 7 min, 22 min; Chiellini 55 min
Juve scored three goals in Turin without reply, leaving Barca with a mountain to climb at Camp Nou next Wednesday night in the second leg of their Champions League tie. Barcelona had two excellent chances to score, but left Italy empty handed. Argentine forward Paulo Dybala scored twice for Juventus in their Champions League quarter-final tie victory against Barcelona Fc courtesy of a commanding first-leg performance in Turin. Dybala curled home both of his goals before the break, the first from an angle inside the box and the second from a central position on the edge. Giorgio Chiellini steered home a header from a corner to add the third. Chiellini's goal was only his second strike in 53 Champions League appearances, and his first in the competition since October 2009. The Italians’ goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon got credit for the clean sheet. Juve completely dominated the game and will hope to repeat their winning display to go on and win the second leg of the tie to earn a spot in the Champions League semi-finals. The last time Barcelona and Juve met in the Champions League was in the 2015 final, and Barcelona won 3-1. Juve have won their past 32 Serie A home games, and are undefeated in 18 European games in Turin.
Barca previously got behind 4-0 in a similar fashion in their first leg of their Last 16 tie with Paris St. Germain and then proceeded to recover from their heavy away defeat to progress to win the second leg and tie. After their record-breaking achievement of overturning their massive deficit against PSG to earn a spot in the quarter-finals, Barca will retain hope as they head into the return leg at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, April 19 with a similar deficit. In the opening 20 minutes, Juventus took charge displaying a form of high-pressure, aggressive play that led to Dybala's two strikes and continued throughout the match. This intense form twice allowed Higuain to have shots that were saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Reportedly Juventus have the second-best defense of any side in Europe's top-five leagues. Juve are well-equipped to handle the second-leg pressure in Spain. Barcelona's heroics in their return leg against Paris Saint Germain followed a terrible first-leg display in Paris. Barcelona’s heavy away defeat was their third in four Champions League games on the road and a second defeat in succession after Barca’s La Liga loss to Malaga. Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are unrivalled in Europe as superstar footballers, but only Messi proved a danger in Turin. Messi had a goal ruled out for offside. If Luis Enrique's Barcelona side are to come back from a seemingly inevitable exit in this season's Champions League, they will need all 11 players competing at the very top of their game if they are to have any chance.
After the giant Italian club’s crucial win, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was proud of his side. Allegri has won two Italian Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia twice as Juventus manager. "I want to congratulate the lads because, as a team, they did great,” said Allegri. "It isn't easy overcoming a team like Barcelona, but we also dug deep to keep a clean sheet. That was fundamental for us. But we have to remain humble, keep our heads down and keep working. PSG scored four, and look what happened. In Barcelona, it will be different and we have to try and score a goal." Juventus are unbeaten in their last 18 Champions League home games their longest ever run on home ground without a defeat in the competition. Their last home defeat in the competition was against Bayern Munich in April 2013. Juve have won 16 successive home matches in all competitions and are unbeaten in 48 games at home. Allegri has equaled Juventus' longest winning streak in the Champions League (five games with Fabio Capello in 2004-05 and with Antonio Conte in 2012-13). Man of the match is Juventus striker Paulo Dybala who has scored more goals in his past two Champions League appearances than he did in his previous 12 games in the competition.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique talked about the nightmare match. "We basically gifted two goals to Juventus in the opening half. As coach, for me it's inexplicable how they were so much better than us,” said Enrique. "It's like a nightmare. We've had very little luck of late, and now I can only hope that from tomorrow we get back on our feet. In the first half the players were determined, but we made the same mistakes from Paris, and that's a problem. Our second half was much better. But I still have the opening half in my head, like a nightmare. Maybe it wasn't [a repeat of] Paris, but it was like the third half from Paris. I'm an optimistic person. But I take responsibility for this. I'm the coach and the buck stops at me. If we play as well as we can, we can score four goals against anyone." Barcelona have lost four of their past five Champions League away games in the knock-out stages, conceding 12 goals in these games. Barcelona host Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday before the home leg with Juve. The Juventus travel to Pescara for a Serie A match on Saturday and then to Spain four days later for their second leg against Barcelona.
Buffon, Dani Alves, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Pjanic, Khedira, Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic, Higuain. Subs: Neto, Marchisio, Barzagli, Lemina, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner, Rincon.
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ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Mathieu, Rakitic, Mascherano, Iniesta, Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar. Subs: Cillessen, Denis Suarez, Alcacer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Andre Gomes, Alena.
Barca has some exciting matches coming up as they host mighty Italian Serie A club Juventus on April 19 at Camp Nou in the Champions League, and travel to battle Real Madrid on April 23 at the Bernabeu in Madrid in the Spanish Primera League. On May 27 Barcelona competes against Alaves in the Copa del Rey Final at Vicente Caleron in Madrid. And on July 29, Real Madrid and Barcelona meet in the International Champions Cup at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Great, legal, authentic, Barcelona football tickets are for sale online securely at 1st4FootballTickets.com!
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