The match between Barcelona and Juventus took an unexpected turn at Juventus Stadium last night. Barcelona slumped to another away defeat, losing 3 of the last 4 games in the UEFA Champions League (UCL). Juventus however put three goals past Barcelona in the first leg of the quarter finals, making it the biggest margin Juventus has beaten them by.
The game started well for Juve as they denied Barcelona of settling at any moment. It took only 7 minutes for Paulo Dybala to score the first goal, sending the crowd roaring. Only 15 minutes later Dybala was back in action scoring his second goal of the game, placing Barcelona at a huge disadvantage. Generally if one speaks of an Argentinean on fire, the assumption would be Lionel Messi. It was however Dybala who stole the limelight, being dubbed as Messi’s successor.
The second half was not in favour of Barca as Giorgio Chiellini of Juve scored in the 55th minute, spiralling the score to 3-0. Barca’s much spoken about three front players, Messi, Neymar, and Suarez were silenced by an outstanding Juve defence.
Another pivotal player was 'Gigi' Buffon as he made vital saves to maintain a clean sheet for the first time against Barcelona. The question is being asked: Can Barca pull off another massive come back as they done against PSG or is Juventus too far a goal?
With Messi frustrated, Barcelona is not a team to be handling this much pressure on the field. There is of course obvious cracks in Barca’s defence as the score line could have been reduced if players had positioned themselves differently.
Commentators of the game expressed opposing views. On the one hand, it was said that Barcelona needs a change of philosophy on the defence where they need to take a few steps back and restructure their playing strategy. On the other hand, a commentator mentioned that the fate of the game rested purely on Juventus’ perfectly executed plan.
Juventus was clearly well-rounded with a good attack and defence, making them a potential threat to other Champions League teams.