Turin, April 12 (IANS) Paulo Dybala scored twice to lead Juventus to a 3-0 victory against Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal here.
Barcelona have put themselves in the position of needing another miracle to stay alive in Europe’s elite club competition, reports Efe.
Just weeks ago, the Catalan side amazed the football world by rebounding from a 0-4 away loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their knockout-stage tie to trounce the French club 6-1 in the second leg at home.
Juventus on Tuesday delivered a complete performance to extend their home unbeaten streak in European play to 22 matches.
The hosts pressed from the opening whistle and generated two chances in the first three minutes before going ahead 1-0 in the eighth minute on Dybala’s shot just inside the far post.
Barcelona was poised to equalise in the 21st minute after Lionel Messi evaded Sami Khedira to deliver a great ball to Andres Iniesta in the area, but Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon turned the shot aside.
The stop by the veteran Italian international sparked a counterattack that culminated in Dybala’s second goal of the night.
Barcelona regrouped and grew more effective on the attack, though an apparent Messi goal was disallowed because Luis Suarez was offside.
The visitors were the more aggressive squad in the opening minutes of the second half, yet Juventus enjoyed more chances.
Gonzalo Higuain squandered two opportunities for the home side before Giorgio Chiellini converted on a header on the 55th minute to make it 3-0.
With the match out of reach, Barcelona set out in pursuit of what could turn out to be a valuable away goal and they seemed to be on the verge of getting it when Suarez sent the ball racing toward the net in the 68th minute.
Buffon, however, was again up to the task, and the stingy Juventus defence held Barcelona at bay for the final quarter of the match.