ITALY: Barcelona are going to have to pull off another unlikely historic comeback at the Nou Camp to stay in the Champions League, after getting resoundingly beaten 3-0 by a Juventus team who feel like the competition’s future. The scoreline is not as big, but the challenge still feels so much greater.
You could say the excellent Paulo Dybala is football’s future, but he is already so brilliant in the present, having scored the two early goals that set the Italian champions on their way. Juve were at that point so relentless and ruthless, before Giorgio Chiellini made it an emphatic 3-0, but there followed a fair few moments of fortune. Barca had still created and squandered more than enough chances to actually come back and claim the advantage in this first leg, and the match – that may well have seen one of the performances of the season from Juventus – still required maybe the save of the season and the tackle of the season.
Barcelona started almost as badly as in the last-16 first leg away to Paris Saint-Germain, and the real worry for them for was that Juventus scored within just seven minutes, but you could still say the goal was coming. The Italian champions had snapped into action so well, clearly suspecting a certain vulnerability in the Catalans.