Juventus are through to the semi-finals after a 3-0 aggregate win, as Barcelona's bid for another famous UEFA Champions League comeback ran into a black-and-white wall.
Luis Enrique's side's remarkable recovery from 4-0 down against Paris in the last round had raised hopes of a repeat "remuntada" at the Camp Nou. Everything had gone their way that night, however, whereas here the footballing gods were less favourable. It just wouldn't happen.
There was no shortage of endeavour, with Lionel Messi prodding a good opportunity a whisker wide midway through the first half. There were plenty of half-chances thereafter yet Juve proved unyielding opponents, standing firm and fearless in the face of constant probing.
The hosts tried everything: switching to three at the back, utilising Gerard Piqué as an auxiliary striker, but could not avoid their first goalless draw in the competition in 50 matches. Juve's joy at full-time was unbridled. They came, they saw, they conquered.
Key player: Juan Cuadrado
Massimiliano Allegri used to love Cuadrado as a super sub, somebody whose pace could open up games as they slipped away. With time, though, the Juventus boss has wanted more, completely changing his playing system to accommodate the Colombian winger. Tonight Cuadrado helped Dani Alves defend the right flank and also provided a vital outlet going forward.
Rare off-day for Messi
Sometimes, as the phrase goes, "the ball just doesn't want to go in". It's not a saying that gets used much around the Camp Nou – not when you have Luis Suárez, Neymar and the greatest scorer in the club's history. Yet for all the talk of Messi being from another planet, he fluffed the two biggest chances of the night. He's human after all.
The right formula?
Lots of attacking players, but all willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team – a formula that has made the fortunes of Italian clubs in Europe. Recall the last Juventus side to lift this trophy in 1996 with Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluca Vialli and Fabrizio Ravanelli, all the first to defend despite their offensive talent. It could be the recipe for success this season too.
Graham Hunter, Barcelona (@BumperGraham)
So, some Catalan pride restored but kudos to Juve for such a smart, controlled night's work. "Lucido" (clear-headed, shrewd) is what their coach demanded; lucido is what he got. What will linger with Luis Enrique's players is the complete disparity between the intensity and ambition of this display compared with how they performed in Turin a week ago.
Paolo Menicucci, Juventus (@UEFAcomPaoloM)
Barcelona had scored 21 goals in their previous four UEFA Champions League outings at the Camp Nou this term, with the margin of each win sufficient if replicated on Wednesday. Juventus's defence is special, though. Centre-backs Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini were spectacular yet this was a team effort. Juve didn't concede in 180 minutes of football against Barcelona. Enough said.
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