The #Champions League game between #juventus Torino – FC #Barcelona finished with the Italian side scoring three goals against the Spanish team, which comes as a bit of a surprise, considering the epic proportions that Barcelona’s last Champions League game took on March 8th against Paris Saint-Germain, in which they made a miracle recovery from 4-0 in the first leg to 6-1 in the second.
Nonetheless, the signs that Barcelona is not what it used to be are there already, as the last results of the team were modest, to say the least. Juventus took advantage of their poor form today in a match where they did what was supposed to be done to assure a win and also played beautifully while doing so.
The other match of the day, Borrusia Dortmund – AS Monaco, was tragically postponed after three explosions took place just outside Dortmund’s bus, filled with the players and the staff that were on their way to the stadium for the big match. As a result, Marc Bartra, from the German team, was taken to the hospital, to treat a few injuries but the extent of them is currently not very clear but not life-threatening either, him being hit by shards of glass that exploded from the impact. The team is in a state of shock and the decision to postpone the game has been the right one, considering the psychological toll this unbelievable event has had on everybody involved, both team, staff, fans and rivals alike..
Below are some of the highlights of the match between Juventus Torino – FC Barcelona:
First half, two goals
Min. 7 - Dybala scored into the bottom left corner
Min. 21 – Iniesta tries to execute Buffon but the Italian wonder goalkeeper makes an incredible save;
Min. 22 – Juventus goes on the counter attack and Dybala scored a superb goal, his second in just 15 minutes, executing Ter Stegen. Instead of 1-1, it is now 2-0. Absolutely dreadful first 21 minutes for the team that, a month ago, made a legendary recovery, scoring 6 goals in one match against PSG;
Min. 28- The referee punishes Juventus’s Dani Alves, Barcelona’s former defender, with a yellow card for a foul;
Min. 40 - Neymar Jr takes a corner but nothing comes out of it, as both teams' players blunder in front of the net;
Min. 44 – Higuaín tries a stylish execution but Ter Stegen saves just in time to avoid goal number 3;.
An extremely fruitful first half for the Italian side, as they take the lead with 2 goals. Juventus looked very good offensively and defensively, as well. Not the same thing can be said for Barcelona, who made one weak half, as they seemed blocked, without ideas, and its stars, the famed MSN, faded in the background and not doing what it was expected from them. But it’s not over until it’s over for Barcelona and Juventus is expected to not lower the quality and offensiveness of their game.
Second, just one goal
Min. 47 - Big occasion for Barcelona as Messi misses the net by very little, almost defeating Buffon, who stretched quite a bit to save;
Min. 49 – Buffon is spot on and very careful as he snatches the ball right from under Suarez’s nose;
Min. 52 – Iniesta seems one of the few Barcelona players with the intention to change the current dire situation, as he kicks the ball with power and desire but the ball goes above the net;
Min. 55 – Juventus scores as Barcelona is executed by a superb well positioned Chiellini header from just a few centimeters in front of the net, after receiving the ball from a well-executed corner kick;
Min. 63 - Mandžukić receives a yellow card from referee Marciniak after his tackle upon Sergi Roberto but he seems to think otherwise and it is safe to say that acting is not Mandžukić strongest point;
Min. 68 – The ball absolutely refuses to enter the net for Barcelona as Suárez misses by a very small margin, after a superb pass from Messi just at the Uruguayan’s feet but the credit goes, again, to Buffon, for a stunning save;
Min. 87 - Messi is fouled and he receives a free kick, which he executes poorly exactly in the wall of players. This failure can sum up very well the poor game of the Catalans tonight;
Min. 90+4 - The 4 added minutes to tonight’s game see Juventus still in attack-mode, while Barcelona attempts to chase the first goal, but it seems it is just too late for the Spanish team, as a last effort from them sees Buffon catching the ball securely.
Juventus wins 3-0 and it cannot be argued that it is a well-deserved win for the Italian side, who played tactfully and had the right answers to anything Barcelona threw at them which was, to be honest, not very much. At all. It seems it is one miraculous comeback too far for Barcelona in the second leg. Anything can happen, of course, it is not impossible to completely change the score, but it is highly improbable for that to happen.