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Big Match Feature: Barca v Juve

Buffon

Buffon

Barcelona have a sizeable first-leg deficit to overturn for the second round running, with Juventus travelling to the Camp Nou leading 3-0 after a dominant home display.

Barcelona are aiming to reach a 17th European Cup semi-final but it is Juve, seeking their 12th, who hold the upper hand thanks to two goals from Paulo Dybala and one from Giorgio Chiellini in the 11 April first leg. That maintained Juve’s unbeaten record at home to Barcelona.

Barça will not have far to look for inspiration, however. Not only did they get the better of Juve in the 2015 final, they produced a Champions League-record comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in this season’s round of 16, winning 6-1 at home after an even heavier first-leg away defeat.

Previous Meetings

Prior to the first leg, the teams’ seventh and most recent contest had been that 2015 Champions League final in Berlin, where Barcelona triumphed 3-1 to take the trophy for a fifth time. Ivan Rakitic gave Luis Enrique’s side, featuring current Juve defender Dani Alves, a fourth-minute lead and, though Alvaro Morata levelled for Massimiliano Allegri’s Juve ten minutes after half-time, Luis Suárez (68) and Neymar (90+7) sealed Barça’s fourth success in ten years.

Barca v Juve form Guide

The line-ups at the Olympiastadion on 6 June 2015 were:

Juventus: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Evra (Coman 89), Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal (Pereyra 79), Morata (Llorente 85), Tévez.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Alves, Piqué. Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic (Mathieu 90+1), Iniesta (Xavi 78), Messi, Suárez (Pedro 90+6), Neymar.

That was Barça’s third victory over Juve, and their first since 1991. Then, Johan Cruyff’s team beat a Juventus side coached by Gigi Maifredi 3-1 at home in their European Cup Winners’ Cup semifinal first leg with goals from Hristo Stoichkov (56, 60) and Jon Andoni Goikoetxea (76). That overturned Pierluigi Casiraghi’s 12th-minute opener for Juve, who went out despite winning the second leg 1-0 with a 61st-minute Roberto Baggio strike.

That was the clubs’ second tie. The first came in the 1985/86 European Champion Clubs’ Cup quarter-finals when Barcelona again prevailed, Julio Alberto bagging the only goal of the Camp Nou first leg. Barça struck first in the Turin return too, through Steve Archibald, and advanced despite Michel Platini’s 44th-minute equaliser.

Current Barcelona boss Luis Enrique appeared in both matches of Juve’s sole two-legged success against the Blaugrana, in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. The first game in Turin finished 1-1, Javier Saviola’s 78th-minute effort equalising Paolo Montero’s 16th minute goal for the hosts.

In the second leg at the Camp Nou, Xavi Hernández’s 66th-minute strike cancelled out Pavel Nedved’s goal for Juve 13 minutes earlier and sent the tie to extra time, with Juve reduced to ten men by Edgar Davids’s 79th-minute dismissal. With penalties looming, Juve substitute Marcelo Zalayeta got the decisive goal (114) to take the ten men into the last four.

Barca v Juve Head to Head

The teams at the Camp Nou on 22 April 2003 were:

Barcelona: Bonano, Reiziger (Gerard 91), F De Boer, Andersson (Mendieta 61), Puyol, Xavi, Motta, Luis Enrique, Overmars (Riquelme 85), Saviola, Kluivert.

Juventus: Buffon, Ferrara, Tacchinardi, Montero, Thuram, Zambrotta, Davids, Nedved, Camoranesi (Birindelli 46), Del Piero (Tudor 83), Di Vaio (Zalayeta 46).

Match Background

Barcelona

Barca are in the quarterfinals for a record tenth straight season. Their record in the last eight of the European Cup overall is W14 L4, with two of those defeats coming in the last three seasons, both against Club Atlético de Madrid.

Before losing to Atlético in 2014, Barcelona’s last quarter-final exit had been against Juve in 2002/03.

In dispatching Paris 6-1 in their round of 16 second leg, Barcelona became the first side in Champions League history to qualify for the next round by overhauling a first-leg deficit of four goals. Deportivo La Coruña previously held the record for the biggest first-leg arrears overcome in the Champions League era, recovering from a 4-1 loss to AC Milan with a 4-0 home win in the 2003/04 quarterfinals.

That was the 27th UEFA competition tie in which Barcelona lost the first leg away and their 13th aggregate victory in such a scenario. In the case of a 3-0 first-leg away defeat, they have overturned that deficit on three occasions out of five, beating Ipswich Town FC (1977/78), RSC Anderlecht (1978/79) and IFK Göteborg (1985/86), all on penalties having won the return 3-0.

Luis Enrique’s side have won all 15 home games in the UEFA Champions League since he took charge. They areunbeaten in 20 matches at home in the competition, a run that started in September 2013 (W19 D1).

Barcelona’s 6-1 triumph over Paris was their 15th consecutive Champions League home victory – one behind Bayern Munich.

Barcelona’s record in two-legged ties against Italian clubs is W8 L3.

Their last home game against Italian opposition produced a 6-1 thrashing of AS Roma in last term’s group stage.

Overall, Barcelona’s record at home to Serie A clubs is W14 D5 L2.

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 12 home matches against Italian visitors, winning nine. They are on a run of four successive home victories against Serie A teams, with 16 goals scored and three conceded.

Barcelona’s shoot-out record in UEFA competition is W5 L1:

5-4 v KKS Lech Poznan, 1988/89 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round

0-2 v FC Steaua Bucuresti, 1985/86 European Cup final

5-4 v IFK Göteborg, 1985/86 European Cup semi-final

4-1 v RSC Anderlecht, 1978/79 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round

3-1 v Ipswich Town FC, 1977/78 UEFA Cup third round

5-4 v AZ Alkmaar, 1977/78 UEFA Cup second round

Juventus

This is Juve’s 17th European Cup quarter-final – their record reads W11 L5. It is their tenth quarter-final in the Champions League but just their third in their last seven participations.

Juventus have won all four away fixtures in this season’s competition, most recently the 2-0 success at FC Porto in the round of 16 first leg. They have kept three clean sheets on their travels, conceding only one goal and scoring ten, and equalled their biggest Champions League away victory on matchday two with a 4-0 triumph at GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

The Italian champions have won 34 of the 42 UEFA competition ties in which they won the home first leg, most recently against Real Madrid CF in the 2014/15 semifinals (2-1 h, 1-1 a). That includes all five where the initial score was 3-0 – although they lost four of those second legs.

Juve’s record in two-legged ties against Spanish clubs is W8 L6.

Juventus have already reigned in Spain this season, beating Sevilla FC 3-1 on matchday five. They drew the home game 0-0.

Juve’s overall away record against Liga opposition is W4 D5 L15. The Sevilla success in November was their only victory in their last five visits.

The Italian team’s shoot-out record is W3 L3:

2-3 v AC Milan, 2002/03 UEFA Champions League final

4-2 v AFC Ajax, 1995/96 UEFA Champions League final

1-3 v Real Madrid CF, 1986/87 European Cup second round

4-2 v Argentinos Juniors, 1985 European/South American Cup final

1-4 v Widzew Lódz, 1980/81 UEFA Cup second round

3-0 v Ajax, 1977/78 European Cup quarter-final

Coach and Player Links

Aside from losing the 2015 Champions League final against Barcelona, Allegri suffered Champions League elimination against Barça in back-to-back seasons as Milan coach, in the 2011/12 quarter-finals (1-3) and the 2012/13 round of 16 (2-4). His full record in ten games versus the Blaugrana is W2 D3 L5.

Luis Enrique coached Roma in 2011/12 and faced Juventus three times. In Serie A he registered a 1-1 home draw, Chiellini netting for the Bianconeri, and a 4-0 away reverse with Marchisio among Juve’s goalscorers. Roma also lost 3-0 in a Coppa Italia quarter-final in Turin.

Dani Alves played for Barcelona from 2008–16, helping the Catalans win the UEFA Champions League three times: in 2009, when he was suspended for the final, 2011 and 2015, at the expense of Juventus. He landed 23 trophies with the Blaugrana, making 391 appearances.

Also played in Spain:

Mario Mandžukic, Club Atlético de Madrid (2014/15)

Sami Khedira, Madrid (2010–15)

Gonzalo Higuaín, Madrid (2007–13)

Khedira scored Real Madrid’s opener in a 2-1 Liga win at Barcelona in 2012, his only goal in 18 games against the Azulgrana with VfB Stuttgart and Madrid.

Higuaín played 18 times against Barcelona in all competitions during his spell at Madrid, notching three goals.

Mandžukic got Atlético’s goal from the penalty spot in a 3-1 league defeat at Barcelona on 11 January 2015.

Lucas Digne was at Roma in 2015/16, scoring three goals in 33 Serie A outings and playing alongside Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

Have also played together:

Neymar & Alex Sandro (Santos 2010/11)

Javier Mascherano & Gonzalo Higuaín (River Plate 2004/05)

Arda Turan & Mario Mandžukic (Clube Atlético de Madrid 2014/15)

International team-mates:

Marc-André ter Stegen & Sami Khedira (Germany)

Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano & Gonzalo Higuaín, Paulo Dybala (Argentina)

Dani Alves, Alex Sandro & Neymar, Rafinha (Brazil)

Ivan Rakitic & Mario Mandžukic, Marko Pjaca (Croatia)

Denis Suárez scored against Higuaín’s Napoli as Villarreal defeated the Partenopei 2-1 on aggregate in last season’s UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Samuel Umtiti was in Olympique Lyonnais’ B team when Pjanic played for the senior side between 2008 and 2011.

Chiellini struck first as Italy beat Spain 2-0 in the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16. Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci were also in the Azzurri side while Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta featured for Spain.

Iniesta, Piqué and Busquets converted spot kicks past Buffon as Spain edged Italy 7-6 on penalties in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal. Bonucci missed the decisive one for Italy. Neymar also scored past Buffon in Brazil’s 4-2 group victory over the Azzurri earlier in the tournament.

Alba fired Spain’s second goal past Buffon in a 4-0 triumph over Italy in the UEFA EURO 2012 final. Piqué, Busquets and Iniesta were also in the Spain team while the Azzurri included Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini and Marchisio.

Match Facts

Barcelona

Neymar, Rakitic, Piqué and Luis Suárez are a booking away from a ban. Busquets returns from a one-match suspension.

Messi moved on to 498 goals in all competitions for Barcelona by scoring twice in a 3-2 home win against Real Sociedad de Fútbol on Saturday.

Mascherano sustained a left calf injury against Juventus and missed the weekend victory.

Juventus

Juan Cuadrado, Mandžukic and Khedira are a booking away from a ban.

Juventus have lost only one of their last 19 matches, winning 16 of them.

Eight of the Bianconeri’s last nine goals in all competitions have been scored by Higuaín (6) and his compatriot Dybala (2).

Dybala was taken off nine minutes into the second half of the 2-0 success at Pescara Calcio on Saturday with an ankle injury.

Two days after the first leg against Barcelona, Juventus announced that Dybala had extended his contract until 30 June 2022.

Winners of the last two editions of the Coppa Italia, the Old Lady will play SS Lazio in the final on 2 June.

Pjaca will be out for the rest of the season after tearing the cruciate ligament in his right knee during Croatia’s friendly against Estonia on 28 March.

AFP

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