There was to be no second miracle at the Nou Camp. No fairy tale comeback, no controversial decisions going the home team’s way, no grandstand finish. Barcelona were well and truly beaten by a stunning display of solidity by Juventus over the course of two legs. The 3-0 victory secured in Turin proved more than enough for the Old Lady outfit, who held on firmly to draw 0-0 in Catalonia and march into the Champions League semi-finals.
Yet again, the Catalans’ form away from home left them with a mountain to climb in the second-leg, but in Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus have one of, if not the best center-back pairings in world football, and there was no way through for the MSN. Gianluigi Buffon stood tall once again and Lionel Messi’s incredible record of never scoring past the 39-year-old Italian added another 90 minutes to it.
By the end of the game, Neymar – who gave the ball away an incredible 46 times – struggled to hold his emotions in and broke down in tears. This was the end of the road for Barcelona and Luis Enrique, as it proved to be his last Champions League game as manager of the club.
The hasty rescheduling of the first leg, just hours after a bomb had exploded next to their team bus, was met with intense criticism, and once again the team coach was mysteriously delayed by French police for 22 minutes before the game.
Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel was upset with the handling of the situation and said: “We didn’t know what was going on (before the game). It prevented us from thinking about football when we were well prepared for the match.
“I had the feeling we were focused and full of joy and happiness to play this game and suddenly there were awkward mindsets going around. It could scarcely have been a worse situation after what happened.”
While Dortmund will feel hard done by, take nothing away from Monaco, who were ruthless in both legs. 18-year old Kylian Mbappe tormented Tuchel’s men in the first leg, and took just three minutes to open the scoring in the second.
Falcao’s 16th minute header proved to be the killer blow, and while Marco Reus responded with a goal in the 48th minute, Valere Germain sealed the deal for Monaco in the 80th minute, making it 3-1 with a nutmeg on Dortmund keeper Burki – just 21 seconds after coming on for Mbappe.
The draw for the Champions League semi-finals will be held on Friday.