Dybala Brace Help Juventus Defeat Barcelona
Juventus forward Paulo Dybala scored a delightful first-half double as Juventus recorded a stunning 3-0 win over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.
Dybala curled home both of his goals before the break, the first from an angle inside the box and the second from a central position on the edge.
Juve turned a dominant lead into one that should see them go on and win the tie when Giorgio Chiellini showed strength and guile to steer home a header from a corner.
The win puts Juve in control of the tie ahead of next Wednesday’s return at the Camp Nou.
For the second European round running, Barca – who were as defensively suspect as they were in losing 4-0 to Paris St-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 tie – must recover from a heavy away defeat to progress.
However, after their record-breaking achievement to overturn that deficit against PSG, they will retain hope heading into the return leg at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, 19 April.
The attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were a shadow of themselves against Juve and had little opportunities to score. When they did break through Juve’s defence, goalkeeper Buffon made vital saves.
The last time these sides met in the Champions League was in the 2015 final, when Barcelona won 3-1.
The Italians are a much-changed side, with only goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defender Leonardo Bonucci starting both the game in Berlin and Tuesday’s in Turin, but they played like a team with a score to settle.
The win means Juve, who have won their past 32 Serie A home games, are undefeated in 18 European games in Turin.
With the second-best defence of any side in Europe’s top-five leagues and having gone 441 Champions League minutes without conceding, the Italians are well-equipped to avoid wilting under second-leg pressure in Spain.