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Barcelona fail to repeat comeback heroics as Juventas cruise through

Barcelona 0 Juventus 0, Juventus won 3-0 on aggregate

By Staff Reporter

Barcelona could not conjure another famous Champions League revival after Juventus held firm to secure their semi-final place thanks to a 3-0 aggregate victory.

The Catalan giants hit back from a 4-0 last-16 first-leg deficit to down Paris St Germain six weeks ago and they needed a comeback of similarly epic proportions at the Nou Camp after shipping three goals in Turin.

But the Italian champions proved a more resolute prospect and a determined defensive showing in this quarter-final second leg secured a goalless draw.

Lionel Messi twice missed the target with gilt-edged opportunities in either half but in the end, Barcelona left themselves with too much of a mountain to climb after being humbled last week.

A brace from Paulo Dybala and a goal from Giorgio Chiellini put Juventus on the brink of a last-four place, but they would have been well aware of their opponents' comeback capabilities.

Having been down and out against PSG, Barcelona produced one of the best attacking displays the competition has ever seen to triumph 6-5 on aggregate last month.

But Juve, who had conceded only two goals in nine Champions League matches this season before last night, proved far more disciplined at the back.

They served notice they would not be content to simply sit back as Gonzalo Higuain lashed over after the ball had rebounded back into his path from Sergio Busquets' attempted interception.

Juan Cuadrado then saw his overhead volley go over in an enterprising start for the visitors but Barcelona gradually started to gain a foothold, pushing plenty of men forward.

They should have gone ahead in the 19th minute when a cross took a touch off Luis Suarez and rolled perfectly into the path of Messi but he could only put his effort wide from 12 yards.

It was a significant let-off for Juventus and they were forced to sit deep as Barca continued to create chances with Neymar and then Sergi Roberto - their matchwinner against PSG - volleying over.

But Barcelona were being given precious little space in the final third and although Messi finally tested Gianluigi Buffon, who parried clear, Juventus rarely looked troubled.

A fourth Barcelona forward in Paco Alcacer was introduced just before the hour mark.

And Juventus were given another warning in the 67th minute when the luckless Messi volleyed over.

Barca had scored three times in the final seven minutes against PSG but there was no hint of anything similar as Juventus eased to the last four.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Sergi (Mascherano 78), Piqué, Umtiti, Alba, Rakitic (Alcácer 58), Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, L Suárez, Neymar. Subs not used: D Suárez, Cillessen, Digne, André Gomes, Aleñá.

Juventus: Buffon, Dani Alves, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Pjanic, Khedira, Cuadrado (Lemina 84), Dybala (Barzagli 75), Mandzukic, Higuaín (Asamoah 88). Subs not used: Benatia, Murara Neto, Lichtsteiner, Rincón.

Man of the match: Giorgio Chiellini

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)

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