Share this story

Juve trample Barca 3-0 in dominant 1st leg

Paulo Dybala bagged a 22-minute brace to lead Juventus in their 3-0 thrashing of Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie at Juventus Stadium.

The 23-year-old Argentine youngster ignited the fire that torched the visitors in less than 60 minutes of action in Turin, with his opener coming in at just the seventh minute as he latched onto a short pass from Juan Cuadrado then fired a low angled curler from the right that found its way into the back of the net.

Dybala then completed his double 16 minutes later as he received Mario Manzukic’s cut-back then fired a zipping effort that zoomed past Barca keeper Marc Andre Ter-Stegen.

“I am very happy, very happy,” said Dybala after his fantastic night. “Because as a child I wanted to live these moments and today I managed it.”

The former Palermo attacker recorded his 15th and 16th goal across all competitions this season, and his third goal in two consecutive Champions League matches.

Giorgio Chiellini scored the third goal of the night in the 55th minute as he towered over Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano and headed Pjanic’s corner into the far post and into the goal.

HOME SWEET HOME

The win stretched Juventus’ unbeaten run in Champions League games played in their Turin stadium, where they have won 11 of their last 18 games. Their last loss in the home field was in April 2013 when they bowed down to Bayern Munich, who eventually lifted the European trophy, along with the domestic league and cup in a historic treble.

Max Allegri’s men have only conceded one goal in five home games in the Champions League this season, when they got held 1-1 by Lyon in the group stage.

Juventus Stadium has been good to Dybala too, as it is in that field where the Argentine has scored 14 of his 16 goals this term.

MIRACLE WORKERS

Barcelona became the first club to overcome a 0-4 first leg loss and advanced to the next round after they outlasted Paris St. Germain 6-5 in an exhilarating Last 16 tie.

But Juve now know Barca can pull the rabbit out of the hat and are willing to work doubly hard to avoid the same fate suffered by the Parisians.

“We certainly cannot rest on our laurels,” said the hero of the first leg win Dybala. “We know that we need a positive result in the second leg and need to keep a cleant sheet, because it’s tough out there, tough – we all saw it [what happened to PSG].”

IMPOSSIBLE

Barca veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta said the PSG first leg debacle was worse but Juve are a better team especially defensively.

“Juve are a good team,” said Iniesta. “When you don’t do things well, you are penalized a lot.”

“The feeling is not as pessimistic as it was in Paris but once again we have a real uphill task in a knockout game. If we do things as we have to, we’ll be back in the tie. If not, it will be impossible.”