Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Juventus-Barcellona 3-0 - HD HIGHLIGHTS - 11/04/2017

3:31 AM Posted by The Gioi Mo , , No comments
Barcelona's defensive frailties were exposed once again at the pinnacle of European competition, as a magical Paulo Dybala and co. shredded the Catalan giants in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

Higuain had the first chance, when he had a free header just eight yards from goal off Pjanic's out-swinging free kick. He planted the header firmly, but it was straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the keeper gratefully collected it.

Juventus's early pressure did tell as Barcelona struggled to get out of their own half. Just seven minutes in, Cuadrado picked up the ball in acres of space on the right. He jinked his way in to the box, turning Jeremy Mathieu all ends up. He then played the short pass to Dybala, who was unmarked on the corner of the six yard box. The little Argentine spun and curled a delicious finish in to the bottom corner. 

But surprisingly, as soon as they took the early lead, Juventus appeared content to hold what they had, despite having more than 80 minutes left to play. They gave up with the early press which had yielded some positive results, and allowed Barca to have plenty of the ball in front of their midfield. 

The Spanish side created a fantastic chance when Messi threaded a delightful through ball that cut the Juventus midfield and defence wide open. Andres Iniesta peeled off the back of Dani Alves and was wide open in the penalty area. He looked to curl one in to the bottom corner, but Gigi Buffon was down quickly to his left and made a magical save.

That save proved pivotal as just 76 seconds later, the Old Lady doubling their advantage thanks to Paulo Dybala producing another glorious moment of technical guile. Higuain cantered down the left before cutting the ball back to an unmarked Dybala on the edge of the box, who lashed the ball hard, low and true, right in to the bottom corner. The 23-year-old was enjoying his coming out party on the European stage, but defensively Barcelona were all over the shop.

The Italians continued to turn the screw as the half wore on, but failed to get another real sight of goal. They went in to the break brimming with confidence, while their opponents could not have been more grateful to hear the whistle.

The second half started much better for Barca. Neymar countered quickly through the middle, but his progress was halted by a fantastic tackle by Bonucci. The ball broke to Messi on the edge of the area, but his shot skewed wide after he was put off by a desperate Pjanic, who threw himself at the multiple Ballon d'Or winner.

Iniesta came close as Juve tried to weather the storm, blasting a whisker over the bar, as did Suarez. The Catalonian side had changed the system at half time, and the results were being yielded as they began to dominate the midfield

But weather the storm the Italians did, and just ten minutes in to the second half, Chiellini met a corner with force and precision. He stood strong at the back post and fired a header in to the far corner, the ball kissing the post as it rolled in. It was turning in to the perfect night of revenge for the Italian champions.

But for all of Juve's prowess, Barca should have scored the away goal. Suarez had a golden opportunity, when Messi slid another magical pass through Juventus's backline. The Uruguayan let the ball roll across his body, but then panicked at the last moment and blasted just wide. The 30-year-old had an off-night in front of goal that could prove costly for his team.

Umtiiti and Neymar were also guilty of squandering good chances as Barca discovered they had packed the kitchen sink to thrown at Juventus. They dominated the game with 66% possession, but the Old Lady held strong, as they take a commanding lead in to the second leg at the Nou Camp next Wednesday.

Juventus: Buffon; Dani Alves, Alex Sandro, Chiellini, Bonucci; Khedira, Pjanic (Barzagli, 89'); Cuadrado (Lemina, 73'), Dybala (Rincon, 81'), Mandzukic; Higuain

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Umtiti, Mathieu (Andre Gomes, 46'), Pique; Mascherano, Sergio Roberto, Rakitic, Iniesta; Suarez, Messi, Neymar

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