It was a dream start for Juventus on Tuesday night, and now the Italian giants must hold on for one more leg to progress into the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
Juventus knocked off Barcelona, 3-0, at the Juventus Stadium after a pair of goals from Paulo Dybala set the pace for the Serie A leaders during the first half.
Giorgio Chiellini headed home Miralem Pjanic’s corner kick in the 55th minute to give the hosts a commanding lead in Turin, and there was no turning back for Barcelona on the day.
The Argentine attacker found the back of the net after seven minutes when Dybala’s curling effort beat goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen from inside the penalty area.
Dybala struck again in the 22nd minute after one-timing a left-footed effort past Ter Stegen from Mario Mandzukic’s pass.
For Barcelona, the team’s performance was quite reminiscent of its opening leg effort against Paris Saint Germain several weeks back in the Round of 16.
Despite an overwhelming amount of possession in Italy, Lionel Messi and co. struggled mightily to break down the Juventus backline and couldn’t find a way to beat Gianluigi Buffon.
Barca had a legitimate shout for handball and potentially a penalty in the 69th minute when Chiellini came sliding in to block a Neymar blast from inside the box. The Italian defender had his right arm elevated as he went to ground and the ball appeared to clip it after Neymar’s attempt made its way towards the defender.
The two sides will meet again on April 19th from the Camp Nou as Luis Enrique’s side looks to overcome its current 3-0 deficit.Follow @MattReedFutbol