Juventus 3-0 Barcelona: Paulo Dybala doubles gives Italian giants quarter-final advantage
Paulo Dybala’s double inspired Juventus to a 3-0 win over Barcelona in the first leg of their quarter-final on Tuesday night, leaving the Catalan giants needing another miracle comeback in the Champions League.
Luis Enrique’s side made history by overturning a 4-0 deficit to knock PSG out 6-1 in the last round of the competition, but they will have to perform a similar feat at the Nou Camp next Wednesday after a dismal night in Turin.
Dybala got the ball rolling with an impressive first-half brace, and Giorgio Chiellini added a third with a header after the break for Juventus in the first meeting between the sides since Barcelona’s win in the 2015 Champions League final.
Juventus started on top and it took just seven minutes for Dybala to find the opener, receiving a pass in the box from Juan Cuadrado before turning and curling a fine effort into the bottom corner.
Barcelona composed themselves as they started to dominate possession, and after 21 minutes they had a glorious opportunity to equalise through Andres Iniesta, who made an intelligent run in behind Juventus’ defence to receive a pass from Lionel Messi, but saw his effort kept out by Gianluigi Buffon.
And Juventus would make Barcelona pay for that miss, as they doubled their lead just a minute later. Again it was Dybala who beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen, curling the ball just inside the near post from the edge of the area after being picked out by Mario Mandzukic.
Barcelona did have the ball in the back of the net in the first half, only to be denied by the offside flag. Messi robbed the ball off Sami Khedira deep in Juventus territory before playing a one-two with Luis Suarez and going on to score, but the Uruguayan striker was ahead of play and the goal was correctly ruled out.
The Spanish giants continued to dominate possession at the start of the second half, with Messi and Iniesta both going close, but after 55 minutes Juventus made it 3-0. Gonzalo Higuain blew a glorious opportunity when through on goal to score but, from the resulting corner, Chiellini wrestled away Javier Mascherano at the far post before nodding home.
Barcelona continued to probe for a way back into the game, but there was no way through the experienced Juventus back line, who saw the game out in relative comfort.