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Steely Juventus shut down Barca to kill off comeback hopes

  • Published at 04:54 am April 20th, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:08 am April 20th, 2017
Steely Juventus shut down Barca to kill off comeback hopes
The Italian champions Juventus barely gave Barca a glimmer of hope of repeating their historic turnaround against Paris St Germain in the last 16 and protected their healthy advantage from the first leg by starving the hosts of space and clear sights of goal. Lionel Messi came closest to giving Barca a route back into the contest with four strikes at goal but failed to hit the target with any of them and frequently came up short against Juve's intimidating centre-back pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.   Twice European champions Juve lacked the spark and power of their thrilling first-leg victory in Turin, but there was rarely any doubt they would exact revenge for their defeat by Barca in the 2015 Champions League final by reaching the semis for a 12th time. Barca coach Luis Enrique had said before the game that if hia team managed to strike early then the noise of the Nou Camp would suck the other goals in. Juventus, however, showed in the opening stages that they are made of sterner stuff than PSG, who gave up a 4-0 first-leg advantage. Massimiliano Allegri’s side pressed Barca in their own half and limited the supply to the front three. Messi almost managed to pick out Jordi Alba with a hooked pass and later played a one-two with the Spaniard before dragging narrowly wide of the far post. [caption id="attachment_58977" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Barcelona's Neymar in action with Juventus' Dani Alves Reuters [/caption] Ivan Rakitic and Neymar also missed the target with hopeful efforts but Juventus' aggressive gameplan limited how much attacking Barca could do without leaving themselves exposed. Gonzalo Higuain cracked a shot over the bar before the break while the probing Juan Cuadrado almost picked out the Argentine striker in the middle, but was thwarted by a brilliant block from Pique. Barca increased their grip on possession after the break and spent most of the remainder of the game in their opponents' half trying to carve out chances, but Juve were always ready for them. Messi whipped a free kick on to the roof of the net and slammed another shot wide before spurning his best chance, a volley which fizzed over the bar. Barca right back Sergi Roberto attempted a repeat of his heroic strike against PSG, but also missed the target, unable to prevent his side's second successive elimination at the quarter-final stage, which will provoke much soul-searching at the five-times European champions. Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao struck early as Monaco reached the Champions League semi-finals with a 3-1 home win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday that sealed a 6-3 aggregate victory. [caption id="attachment_58979" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Monaco's Kylian Mbappe-Lottin in action Reuters [/caption] French prodigy Mbappe and Colombia striker Falcao scored in the third and 17th minutes before Marco Reus gave the visitors hope with a 48th-minute goal, only for substitute Valere Germain to wrap up the win for the French side nine minutes from time. Monaco joined Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Juventus in the last four of Europe's premier cub competition. The kickoff was delayed by five minutes after the German team arrived late at the Louis-II stadium due to traffic problems, UEFA said. Dortmund said on their Twitter feed that the bus had been held up by police at their hotel for 20 minutes. The incident occurred a week after the first leg was postponed by 24 hours after the Borussia team bus was attacked with explosives on its way to the stadium. RESULTS: Monaco 3 Kylian Mbappe 3, Radamel Falcao 17, Valere Germain 81  Borussia Dortmund 1 Marco Reus 48 Monaco won 6-3 on aggregate  Barcelona 0  Juventus 0 Juventus won 3-0 on aggregate 
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