There was to be no repeat of Barcelona’s miraculous comeback against PSG in the previous round, as Juventus held their hosts to a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou to advance to Champions League semi-finals.
Although Barca needed at least three goals to progress, it was Juventus who made the brighter start, dominating possession for the first ten minutes. The home side got a foothold after that, however, with Lionel Messi and Neymar both missing chances to open the scoring.
Juventus kept Barcelona at arms’ length for the rest of the half, with an increasingly tense and chippy game finishing 0-0 at the break.
The second period began in surprisingly open fashion as Barcelona searched for the goal that they hoped would open the floodgates and Juventus looked to hit the counter and bury the tie. Soon, however, Barcelona were camped outside the Juventus penalty area.
But there was no way through Juventus’ imperious defence, which repelled attack after attack to frustrate Barcelona and complete a superb two-legged bettering of their opponents.
In the end, Luis Enrique’s final Champions League match as Barcelona manager ended with a whimper, just two years after he led the side to a Treble that included a Champions League final win over the same Serie A giants.
In Monaco, the home side beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 to return to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2004.
Monaco raced out to a 2-0 lead, with Mbappe scoring on the rebound after Benjamin Mendy’s long-range shot was parried to his feet just three minutes into the tie. Radamel Falcao then made it 2-0 inside 20 minutes with a bullet header past Roman Burki.
In between the two goals, Nuri Sahin hit the woodwork with a free kick for Dortmund, but that was the closest the visitors came to scoring in the first-half.
Right after half-time, however, Marco Reus pulled one back, producing an excellent finish after substitute Ousmane Dembele picked him out with a pinpoint cross at the end of a wonderful run down the right.
From that moment, Dortmund poured attack after attack in hopes of getting a second goal that would put them on the verge of a historic comeback.
Monaco held on, before hitting Dortmund with a classic counter as Valere Germain finished off a slick move to seal his side’s spot in the semi-finals.
MOMENT OF THE NIGHT – MBAPPE RACES OUT THE BLOCKS
If there were any nerves in Monaco’s young side as they began their match holding onto a slender one-goal advantage, the youngest player on the pitch settled them. Kylian Mbappe’s goal set Monaco on their way to the Champions League with a precise finish.
BEST GOAL – MARCO REUS
It proved to be in vain, but Dortmund’s goal against Monaco was a wonderful one. Ousmane Dembele’s mazy run, followed by an outrageous cross, was met by Marco Reus, who produced a thumping finish.
BEST TWEET – @COPA90 AND @FABRIZIOROMANO
Cristiano Ronaldo was Kylian Mbappe’s hero when the young Frenchman was growing up. Mbappe has now joined Ronaldo as the leading scorers in this season’s knockout stage.
Meanwhile, after their masterful display over two legs against Barcelona, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are being tipped to reach even greater heights.
BEST STAT – JUVE DENY BARCA
Juventus have only conceded two goals in the Champions League this season, but even with that record, holding Barcelona to a 0-0 draw is no mean feat.
PLAYER OF THE NIGHT – KYLIAN MBAPPE
Any of the Juventus defenders could have taken this, but there’s no reason not to jump on the Kylian Mbappe bandwagon at this point. He’s only 18, but no stage has proven too big for him so far, and he just can’t stop scoring at the moment.