Paulo Dybala's brace helped Juventus to a dominant 3-0 win that puts them in a great position to advance to the last four. The result leaves Barcelona on the brink, but they have recovered from that position before.
Juventus 3-0 Barcelona
(Dybala 7', 22', Chiellini 55')
Juventus are a step closer to avenging their loss to Barcelona in the 2015 Champions League final after a dominant display at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday in the first leg of their quarterfinal.
Argentina forward Paulo Dybala outshone his international compatriot, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, with two expertly taken goals in a stellar first half display that gave Juventus a commanding lead. Georgio Chiellini headed in the third in the second half to give the Italian champions a a huge advantage ahead of next week's second leg in Barcelona.
Dybala doubling up
First, Dybala executed a quick and devastating turn after receiving the ball from teammate Juan Cuadrado on the right side of the penalty area. He then unleashed an unsavable curling shot into the side of the goal to give Juventus the lead.
His second was perhaps more spectacular, as he one-timed a finish from outside the penalty area after receving a ball from Mario Mandzukic. He now has 16 goals in 36 appearances with Juventus this season, four of which have come in the Champions League.
Chiellini put the game out of reach by wriggling away from Javier Mascherano and pounding a header into the far corner. Luis Suarez blew a chance to grab a crucial away goal 12 minutes later when his effort hit the outside of the left post.
Against most teams, a 3-0 aggregate lead would all but secure a spot in the next round. But Barcelona have already completed a miraculous comeback this season. Paris Saint-Germain built a 4-0 first-leg lead against them in the last 16 in Paris, but the Catalans completed a remarkable turnaround with a 6-1 result in the second leg in Barcelona.
Juventus are close to invincible at home - they have not lost a home game since August of 2015. But they have won just once in Barcelona in three matches - in the 2002-03 season - and needed extra time to do it. They may have a difficult time holding their first-leg lead with the attacking potential Barcelona has.
dv/mp (AP, Reuters)