‘Unbeatable’ Juve hailed as Euro dream takes shape
Milan: “Unbeatable” Juventus can finally hand goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon an elusive Champions League title after making five-time winners Barcelona “cry” on their way to a spectacular Champions League semifinal exit on Wednesday. Those were the headlines splashed across the front pages a day after rock-solid Juventus followed their impressive 3-0 first-leg win over the Spanish giants with a defensive masterclass that held Barca to a frustrating scoreless draw at the Camp Nou.
As Juve celebrated a 3-0 aggregate win at a stunned but appreciative Nou Camp, Barcelona — who beat Juventus on their way to triumph in 2015 — crashed out of the competition after seeing stars Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar fail to find the net over 180 underwhelming minutes.
“Fly Juve Fly” was the front page headline on Italy’s biggest-selling sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, which included a vignette showing teary-eyed Barca star Neymar being comforted by former club defender Dani Alves. Corriere dello Sport used the same dramatic picture of Alves and Neymar to fully illustrate the Brazilian starlet’s disappointment.
“You made them cry,” screamed Corriere’s headline, while for Turin-based Tuttosport Juventus are simply “Unbeatable”.
Even Barcelona, outdone by Paulo Dybala’s impressive brace and Giorgio Chiellini’s 55th minute header in Turin last week, had to agree.
“Compliments to @Juventusfc for reaching the semifinal,” the Catalan club wrote on its official Twitter page.
To which Juventus replied: “Thank @FCBarcelona, it’s an honour to beat such a great opponent.”
Juve go into Friday’s semifinal draw along with Real Madrid, Monaco and Atletico Madrid — all of whom have faced Massimiliano Allegri’s men in recent European campaigns.
For Barca defender Gerard Pique, though, the Italians showed enough over the two legs to merit another tilt at the trophy they last won in 1996 with a 4-2 penalties victory over Ajax.
“Over the two legs, they were better than us so they deserve to go through to the semifinals. I think they can win the Champions League this season,” said Pique. — AFP