Turin( Italy): Argentina forward Paulo Dybala scored a delightful first-half double to eclipse his illustrious compatriot Lionel Messi as Juventus recorded a stunning 3-0 win over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Dybala netted twice before the midway point in the first half and Giorgio Chiellini added the third goal early in the second half in Turin to leave Juve in control of the tie ahead of next Wednesday’s return at the Camp Nou.
Having made history when they overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 by winning the return 6-1, Barcelona will need another stunning comeback if they are to reach the last four. Juventus last met the Spanish giants when they lost 3-1 in the 2015 final, but here they ran Luis Enrique’s men ragged and nullified the visitors’ front three of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
A Sami Khedira effort in the opening minutes went well over, but it was a sign of things to come in a great opening half for the hosts that saw 23-year-old Dybala sparkle.
Juve’s seventh-minuter was a work of simplicity finished off by a Dybala master stroke. Juan Cuadrado was the provider on the right flank, setting up Dybala who turned 12 yards out and curled a left-footed shot inside the far post, beyond the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Marc-Andreter Stegen.
It took Barca until 21 minutes to threaten, but Gianluigi Buffon denied Andres Iniesta after he had been picked out by asuperb Messi pass. Buffon pumped his fist in defiance, and he was pumping both in celebration moments later whenDybala met Mario Mandzukic’s ball in from the left to sweep a first-time shot inside Ter Stegen’s near post to make it 2-0.
Messi had the ball in the net on the half hour, but the goal was disallowed for an earlier infringement, and Juve finished the opening half with a flurry.