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Barcelona need another miracle after Juventus star Paulo Dybala destroys Catalans in Turin

Dybala leaves Barca needing fresh miracle to reach semis

11/04/2017 at 21:37Updated 12/04/2017 at 19:07

Champions League quarter-final first leg, Juventus Stadium - Juventus 3 (Dybala 7, 22, Chiellini 55) Barcelona 0

Paulo Dybala hit a brace as Juventus won 3-0 to condemn Barcelona to another first-leg humbling and take a firm grip of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

The Argentine forward struck twice inside the opening 22 minutes as the Old Lady tore the visitors to shreds with a super-charged start.

Luis Enrique's men had plenty of possession with Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez going close, but their defensive deficiencies were cruelly exposed again in the second half when Giorgio Chiellini headed home a corner.

It was a perfect recipe combining ruthless attack and stubborn rearguard from Massimiliano Allegri's team as they deservedly maintained their unbeaten record on home turf this season. It leaves the Catalan giants needing another Camp Nou miracle to keep their dream of lifting a sixth European Cup alive.

Indeed, Barcelona appear to be doing it the hard way in this year's competition after they were forced to overturn a 4-0 deficit to Paris Saint-Germain to make the quarter-finals for the 10th straight campaign. They face another mammoth task in the second leg on April 19 and will need the MSN to be firing on all cylinders to reach the semi-finals against a Bianconeri rearguard who have conceded just two goals in the Champions League this term.

TALKING POINT

Can lightning strike twice? The obituaries were already written ahead of the second leg at home to Paris Saint Germain and despite their issues at the back, the Catalans have so much firepower that they are capable of destroying the very best defences on their day. There is still hope but there's no doubt Juventus are heavy favourites to make the last four now. If Luis Enrique's men do go on to lift the trophy this season, they will have done it via a real rollercoaster of emotions and in the most difficult way possible.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Paulo Dybala (Juventus): Two sublime finishes capped an eye-catching display from the Argentine. Faded slightly in the second period as Barca pressed, but made the all-important match-winning contributions to put his side in control of the tie.

Paulo Dybala (Juventus) après l'ouverture du score contre le Barça.

Paulo Dybala (Juventus) après l'ouverture du score contre le Barça.AFP

PLAYER RATINGS

Juventus: Buffon 8, Dani Alves 8, Alex Sandro 8, Chiellini 8, Bonucci 8, Cuadrado 7, Khedira 8, Pjanić 8, Dybala 9, Mandžukić 7, Higuaín 7. Subs: Lemina 6, Rincon n/a, Barzagli n/a.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen 6, S.Roberto 5, Umtiti 5, Piqué 5, Mathieu 5, Mascherano 5, Rakitic 6, Iniesta 7, Suárez 6, Messi 7, Neymar 6. Sub: Gomes 5.

KEY MOMENTS

4' - JUVENTUS CHANCE! Miralem Pjanic curves a wonderful right-wing free kick onto the head of Higuain, who can only power a header straight at Ter Stegen. The Argentine striker should have scored.

7' - GOAL! JUVENTUS 1-0 BARCELONA. Cuadrado weaves in from the right and plays it to Paulo Dybala, who spins brilliantly before curling a low shot into the corner.

22' - GOAL! JUVENTUS 2-0 BARCELONA. Juventus go straight up the other end and make the visitors pay. Dybala is at the double as he arrives on cue to curve Mandzukic's delightful cutback into the net from 18 yards.

54' - JUVENTUS CHANCE! It should be three. Higuain races clear as Barca foolishly push up trying to defend Alves' ball over the top. The Argentine has time to pick his spot but cracks his attempt straight at Ter Stegen from the right of the area.

55' - GOAL! JUVENTUS 3-0 BARCELONA. It is three now. Chiellini easily rises above Mascherano to power a header into the far corner from a left-wing corner.

69' - BARCA PENALTY SHOUT! All hands to the pump for Juve. Neymar takes aim from the edge of the box and sees his shot blocked by the hand of Chiellini. No spot kick given as it hits the Italian on the head before striking his arm.

Chiellini celebrates

Chiellini celebratesAFP

KEY STATS

  • Dybala's opening goal (after 6 mins 34 seconds) was the fastest conceded by Barcelona this season in all comps.
  • Juventus have now won 16 successive home matches in all competitions, and are unbeaten in 48 games there (W42 D6 L0).
  • Dybala is the first Juventus player with a brace in a Champions League game since Carlos Tévez in March 2015.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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