Juventus
    12.04.2017 13:00 - in: Champions League S

    #JuveFCB: Five Talking Points

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    Juventus.com analyses the perfect night after the Bianconeri’s 3-0 win over Barcelona in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg
    Flawless Juve

    To beat Barcelona 3-0, you need to put in the perfect performance. Unquestionably, that is what Juventus did on Tuesday night with each and every player in a black and white shirt firmly on top of their game.

    When the Bianconeri are firing on all cylinders, they are very difficult to live with, even for a world-class side such as Barcelona.

    Racing out of the traps and taking an early lead was always going to be important in a match like yesterday’s and Paulo Dybala’s strikes in the 7th and 22nd minutes set the brightest of tones for the rest of the evening.

    The most impressive part of last night’s victory, however, is the way Juve kept pulling out all the stops in attack, midfield and defence right up until full-time, ultimately giving Barca very few opportunities to work with.

    Make no mistake, playing away at the Camp Nou next week presents another kind of challenge – the Blaugrana’s comeback win over PSG in the previous round serving as a lesson – but Juve’s 3-0 lead and Barca’s lack of an away goal puts the Bianconeri in the driving seat to extend their hitherto exhilarating Champions League adventure.

    Dybala at the double

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Juventus vs Barcelona will forever be remembered as the moment in which Paulo Dybala took the Champions League by storm.

    Two waves of his magic wand of a left foot, so often decisive in Serie A, caused all kinds of havoc on Europe’s highest stage.

    La Joya has now doubled his tally in the continent’s premier club competition for 2016/17 with four goals to his name (five including last season) and threatens to be a real force at this level for several years to come.

    Watch out, world!

    Brilliant Buffon

    Who at thirty-nine years of age still has the lazor-sharp reaction speed to deny Andrés Iniesta and Luis Suarez at point-blank range – among other top blocks – en route to a clean sheet against Europe’s most potent attack?

    We shouldn’t be surprised anymore by the greatness San Gigi, but we should be eternally grateful.

    The legend lives on…

    Defence does us proud

    Last night was also a clash between Europe’s sternest defence and Europe’s highest-scoring attack. Well, the former came out on top and resoundingly too.

    While Buffon was strutting his stuff between the sticks, the rearguard before him, man for man, were simply outstanding.

    Giorgio Chiellini deserves plenty of plaudits for getting Juve’s third goal at one end of the pitch while making a match-high eight clearances at the other.

    Leonardo Bonucci too gave nothing away over the course of the 90 minutes and more than played his part with three interceptions.

    This rock-solid Italian core was flanked by two flamboyant Brazilian full-backs, who however did a sterling job in defence: Dani Alves regaining possession seven times and Alex Sandro making a match-high six tackles.

    Meanwhile, Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic offered the perfect protection in front of them: Sami intercepting three Barca passes and Mira winning the ball back seven times for a joint-match high shared with Dani Alves.

    Indeed, the secret behind Juve’s defensive strength is that it starts at the front and the way the four men up top also applied pressure on the ball in advanced areas constantly took the visitors out of their comfort zones.

    Max the master

    Six points clear at the top of Serie A with a place in the Coppa Italia final in the bag and now a great advantage in this Champions League quarter-final, there can be no doubt that Massimiliano Allegri is steering this Juventus ship in the right direction.

    To be fighting on all fronts at the business end of the season is no mean feat, but that’s what Juve are doing and they’re not in the mood to be slowing down anytime soon.

    Onwards and upwards, Bianconeri!

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