Juventus hold firm to knock out Barcelona


Barca continued to press and substitute Javier Mascherano nearly pulled one back on 81 minutes when he touched a Neymar effort towards goal, but Buffon denied him with a good save.

After Barcelona's Champions League exit, they are all set to face their rivals Real Madrid on Sunday in a potential title-deciding Clasico.

After completing a stunning comeback courtesy of a 6-1 second-leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez were neutralised by Juve trio Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli as captain Buffon heaped praise on the five-time reigning Serie A winners.

Barcelona kept on trying, with Messi again going close and Sergi Roberto shooting just wide as to their huge credit Barcelona kept on pushing for a miracle which looked increasingly unlikely with every passing minute.

Messi had a final chance to put Barcelona on the scoresheet for the first time in the tie, but his right-footed volley from inside the box in the 66th minute was well over the bar. Earlier, Barcelona's errors in last week's match resulted in a 3-0 defeat by Juventus.

Barcelona pressed to trim the deficit in the first half, giving Juventus chances to counter, first as Gonzlo Higuain blasted over the bar, before Juan Cuadrado's overhead flick was also too high.

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Messi had another big chance after a rare Buffon handling error from a corner, but unfortunately for Barca it fell on his right foot and the Argentine fired well over. We have belief in ourselves, because scoring three goals past Barcelona and then keeping a clean sheet at Camp Nou proves we are a great team.

Barca boss Luis Enrique will leave the Nou Camp this summer having failed to reach the semi-finals for a second successive season.

Messi could have boosted Barcelona's hopes in the 19th minute when a long buildup ended with Luis Suarez setting him up near the penalty spot, only for Messi to fire wide.

- Juve last won the Champions League in 1996.

"They would rotate less, compared to Atletico, who have a more defined position and can manage themselves".

Barca team-mate Sergi Roberto - who scored the dramatic victor against PSG in the previous round as the Spanish champions overturned a four-goal deficit - added: "The fans got behind us until the last minute, like another player, we needed their support to turn the tie around".