Messi, Suarez and Neymar shut out for 180 minutes

It is such a rare occurrence that Barcelona’s famed attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are kept quiet but the trio being shut-out in successive matches is almost unheard of, yet that is exactly what Juventus did over 180 minutes.

Juve relied on their defensive solidity as they kept two successive clean sheets against Los Cules to progress through to the semi-final of the Champions League for the second time in three seasons.

The Blaugrana’s hopes of another historic comeback were based around the talents of their front three and with the Italian giants successfully nullifying them, it was always going to be an uphill battle.

In 49 separate matches the trio have managed to score three or more goals between them with nine of those matches actually coming in the Champions League but the reality is they didn’t consistently come close on Wednesday.

Much is said of Real Madrid’s own BBC of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo yet it was Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini that kept the hosts at bay.

Putting this into context only furthers just how impressive the Italian champions’ feat actually is, with Barcelona having not been shut-out in an aggregate tie since the 2013 semi-final which they lost 7-0 to Bayern Munich.

 

Marca