4 Truths: Barcelona can forget about next season, Juventus the best around
Four truths after an enthralling night of Champions League football...
Barcelona can forget about next season (probably)
Faced with a proper defence, they rarely looked like scoring, instead hoping to turn the tie with moments of individual brilliance, and as such, Juventus were comfortable. Hard though Neymar tried, he is the only one of their attacking trident on the way up, while in midfield, they probably need three new players.
Given the time it takes for those to settle - if the right ones are found in the first place - the Catalans can probably forget about winning La Liga and the Champions League next season as well as this. And on top of that, they need a new manager; one might describe them as mes que un mess.
Dani Alves comforts crying Neymar after Juventus oust BarcelonaReuters
Bonucci, Chiellini and Buffon are incredible
After PSG now famously blew their commanding lead against Luis Enrique’s men in dramatic fashion, no one expected Juventus to do the same. And so it was, with the Italians shutting up shop in quite spectacular fashion. Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon ensured that nothing – nothing whatsoever – gave Barcelona hope.
The trio of Bonucci, Chiellini and Buffon received no end of praise from fans on social media for their predictably stubborn exploits and their masterclass was something to behold with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez simply unable to find a way through. Bravo.
Leonardo Bonucci, Lionel MessiGetty Images
Juventus are the best team left in the tournament
This is not to say, they will definitely win it. However, it is to say that they can beat any team – and also can do so in a number of ways. This two-legged tie against Barcelona was indicative of that.
They were imperious going forward in the first leg; in the second leg they shut up shop but remained a threat on the break. They have no glaring weakness in their side.
Juventus' Mario Mandzukic, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli celebrate after the matchReuters
It is unfair that Dortmund had to play
Dortmund fell behind quickly to two Monaco goals last week. They rallied, but it was impossible to think that they had been significantly distracted by enduring a bomb attack before the home match. As German police recreated the attack to aid the investigation on Wednesday, it is clear that the fact that Marc Bartra was the only casualty, and with only a relatively minor injury, was a case of real fortune.
The game last week should not have gone ahead, nor should their tie on the weekend, and nor should this game in Monaco. The answer as to how that should have been resolved is not obvious. There is no slack in football's schedule anymore, and no room for real, meaningful empathy.
Dortmund again failed against Monaco, looking distracted and ready to give in after an early goal was conceded to Kylian Mbappe. Monaco could do little else but beat what was put in front of them, but it doesn't feel fair that Dortmund were put in front of them at all.
Daniel Harris, Alex Netherton, Dan Quarrell, Marcus Foley