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After the miracle comeback against Paris St Germain, Barcelona fans had high hopes to see their club do a repeat of the ‘remontada’ at home. Only this time to Juventus. Juventus won the opening leg 3-0 at home and had a healthy advantage over the Catalans going into the second leg.
However those hopes were shattered with Juventus holding Barcelona to a goalless draw as they advanced to the Champions League semifinals on a 3-0 aggregate for the 12th time in the competition.
Barcelona were facing the best defense in the world and despite being the comeback kings, they could not do anything about it in a night that saw Juventus managed by Massimiliano Allegri deliver yet another tactical masterclasss.
Allegri chose the same army to fight the Spanish champions as he did in the first game. Luis Enrique on the other hand returned to a more traditional formation of 4-3-3 after facing defeat with his 3-4-3 in Turin.
The Italian side made use of their 3-0 advantage to take chances at attacking apart from keeping a tight and perfect defense as Barcelona was left vulnerable in the back. Their strategy remained the same – not provide the opposition with any space to lead an attack.
Of the famed MSN, Luis Suarez had a quiet night while Neymar bothered the Juventus backline with his dribbling but not enough to create a chance. And the last of the three – Lionel Messi – was well contained and allowed little to no space to venture. However, he produced the only shot on target for Barcelona on the night. The credit for this goes to Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci who were once again exceptional in the centre of defence.
To suggest that Juventus sat at Camp Nou to shut shop and prevent any goals would be an unfair judgement. The Old Lady did move forward on many occasions with Juan Cuadrado coming close to beating Marc Andre Ter Stegen on the far post. Miralem Pjanic was flawless with the ball as his tackles kept Barcelona restricted.
Although Barca tried giving a strong fight and had possession for most of the night, they could hardly threaten Buffon as Juventus, who had only conceded twice in the tournament, executed their defensive master skill.