Paulo Dybala put in a performance of the highest caliber and scored twice in Juventus’ 3-0 win over Barcelona. Although no strangers to comebacks, Barcelona will have a mountain to climb in the second leg.
Juventus came out as clear winners in a replay of the 2015 Champions League final. It was goalkeeper Luigi Buffon, who promised Juventus was a different. more experienced team from that encounter. The Italian side confirmed this and easily won the encounter.
Paulo Dybala repaid all the confidence he is being given recently and offered a great performance. Prior to the game the Italian press was drawing comparisons between Dybala and fellow Argentian forward Lionel Messi. Against most expectations, Dybala was the hero on the night, while Messi remained largely unnoticed. Giorgio Chiellini added the third goal for Juventus and put in a confident display in defense.
It was generally the same for Barcelona’s other star players. Most of them failed to make a significant impact on the game. Iniesta came close to scoring early on, however Buffon showed off his class and deflected the ball. Barca were also denied a penalty request. But otherwise the the players were unremarkable tonight leaving most fans requesting significant changes to the squad come next season.
Juventus, on the other hand, dominated most areas of the pitch. Dybala and team goalscorer Gonzaolo Higuain provided the firepower. Bonucci, Chiellini and Alves offered security for their team in defense. Khedira and Cuadrado took advantage of Sergio Busquets’ absence in midfield. It’s a team combining the experience of multiple Serie A winners, young talent like that of Dybala and internationally decorated players like Daniel Alves.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri heaped praise on the talented Dybala. “Dybala showed his quality with an extraordinary performance. He is a great player and he was magnificent. His finishing was great.”
“But I am happy for him as I am for all the players. I’m delighted with the whole lot of them because they really were superb.We have strength throughout the squad and that is especially important in this period with all the games we have to play one after another. They all have a big part to play.”
It was surely an emotional occasion for defender Dani Alves who faced his former team. Alves won numerous trophies in his time at Barcelona in one of the club’s most decorated sides. However, his departure was not a happy one with Alves visibly upset with the team’s board. The Brazilian says Juventus need to guard against complacency in the second leg. “I think that at the Camp Nou you cannot go to defend the result,” the defender told Mega. “You have to go try to score, try to make it difficult for Barcelona and try to beat them.”