Paulo Dybala’s brilliant first-half brace and Giorgio Chiellini’s second-half header gave Juventus a 3-0 win over Barcelona.
Lionel Messi was outshone by Paulo Dybala as his compatriot produced two sublime finishes to give Juventus a commanding 3-0 advantage over Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final.
Dybala has been keen to play down talk of him being Messi’s heir apparent for the Argentina national team, but twirling a wand of a left foot to fine effect on such occasions makes comparisons irresistible.
Having completed a seemingly impossible comeback by overturning a 4-0 first-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round, Luis Enrique’s side now arguably face a tougher task.
It is scarcely credible to imagine Massimilino Allegri’s streetwise Juventus defence, marshalled superbly by Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini – who scored the third 10 minutes after half-time – folding as the Ligue 1 champions did in the Camp Nou cauldron.
Outgoing Barca boss Luis Enrique once again deployed the hybrid 3-4-3 he fielded to see off PSG but the result was a disorganised rabble that was picked apart by Serie A’s dominant force.
The visitors were relieved to see Gonzalo Higuain plant his second-minute header from Miralem Pjanic’s s free-kick straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen, although another Argentinian proved more clinical five minutes later.
Jeremy Mathieu – a surprise selection on the left-hand side of defence – allowed Juan Cuadrado into the box and Dybala collected the pass to turn and finish on the angle with almost nonchalant cool.