Juventus Hailed As 'Unbeatable' After Win Over Barcelona
Juventus players rejoice after their quarter-final victory over Barcelona (Getty Images)
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 semi-final 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.
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.
To which Juventus replied: "Thank @FCBarcelona, it's an honour to beat such a great opponent."
Juve go into Friday's semi-final draw along with Real Madrid, Monaco and Real 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 semi-finals. I think they can win the Champions League this season," said Pique.
Gazzetta dello Sport suggested Juve's virtually "impenetrable defence" should also give 39-year-old club legend Buffon the chance to add a European trophy to his long list of titles and accolades.
"It's your year. With a defence like this you can lift the trophy," said an inside-page headline.
"Henceforth, there's no doubt: there's a smell of the treble in the air," wrote Gazzetta columnist Alessandro De Calo.
While Allegri applauded the achievement of keeping a clean sheet against Barca, he believes there's more to come.
"It's almost unheard of for Barcelona to fail to score over two legs. But the lads need to realise they can do even better. We are slowly improving," Allegri told Mediaset Premium.
"I'm satisfied with what we're achieving but the onus is not on maintaining current form. Instead, we should aim to improve it."
After Real Madrid overcame Bayern Munich 4-2 on Tuesday to send the Bundesliga giants packing, Juve fans were celebrating.
The Germans have stopped Juve in their tracks twice in recent seasons, at the quarter-final stage in 2013 then again in the last 16 last year.
But after seeing his Juve side oust both Monaco, in the quarters, and Real, in the semis, on their way to a 3-1 final defeat by Barcelona in 2015, Allegri should be wary of Atletico.
Runners-up to Real Madrid last year, the Spaniards have beaten Juve once and held them to a draw on their previous two meetings.
Recommended For You
- Eoin Morgan Defends Dropping Himself for South Africa Finale
- Jaguar Teases E-pace, to Make Global Debut on July 13th
- Exclusive: Read Excerpts From In the Name of God by Ravi Subramanian
- Matin Rey Tangu Joins SRK, Salman Khan At Baba Siddique's Iftar party
- Srikanth Beats Olympic Champion Chen Long to Win Fourth Superseries