'MSN' blanked, Javier Mascherano outpaced and outmuscled at Juve

A rampant Juventus served Barcelona a cold dish of revenge 22 months after their defeat in the Champions League final in Berlin, outfighting and outrunning Luis Enrique's side and showing they have one of the most exciting talents in the world in Paulo Dybala.

Barca will refuse to believe they are out of the tournament after their miraculous comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round but Juve's experience and power suggests the Old Lady will not be for turning.

The "MSN" were starved of space and were frequently snuffed out by Juve's own special trio at the back, the hardened "BBC" of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini and the Catalans dearly missed the suspended Sergio Busquets as Javier Mascherano drowned in midfield, a role he is no longer suited to at this stage in his career.


Barca conceded one goal fewer than in their last away outing in the Champions League and Gerard Pique, Neymar and Ivan Rakitic managed to avoid bookings, meaning they escaped suspension from the second leg, in which they will be able to count on Busquets again


Barca have lost three of their five European away trips, only managing to win at Celtic and Borussia Monchengladbach. This season when pitted against the best teams in the continent and away from the comfort of the Camp Nou, they have fallen woefully short.

Manager rating out of 10

4 -- Although there were no easy solutions to the absence of Busquets for Luis Enrique, deploying the slow Mascherano in a role he has not played well in since the 2014 World Cup proved a disastrous decision, nearly as bad as selecting Jeremy Mathieu over Jordi Alba. He also only used one substitution, although he deserves some credit for the improvement in the second half, even if the bar was set very low.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Marc Andre ter Stegen, 4 -- Had one of his poorest displays of the season, caught flat-footed for the opener and beaten at his near post for the second and overall commanded his box very poorly.

DF Gerard Pique, 4 -- Was lethargic in getting across to pick up Dybala on both of the Argentine's goals.

DF Samuel Umtiti, 6 -- Was not at fault for any of the goals and tried to give some presence in the other box as Barca chased the game.

DF Jeremy Mathieu, 3 -- Thoroughly unsuitable for the job of dealing with Juan Cuadrado and so it proved as he failed to get close to the Colombian for the opening goal and looked well off the pace, embarrassingly hauled off at half-time.

MF Sergi Roberto, 5 -- Was beaten by Miralem Pjanic down his right flank for Dybala's second goal but gave a decent display going forward, always looking to make something happen even though he rarely managed to.

MF Ivan Rakitic, 5 -- Worked really hard but his occasional technical deficiencies were exposed by Juve's dynamic midfield.

MF Javier Mascherano, 3 -- Showed why he is so rarely used in the holding midfield role these days for Barca and why Argentina have suffered in the last year when they have played him there. Struggled to cope with the pace and gave a pitiful effort in trying to prevent Dybala stroking in the second and was hopelessly outmuscled by Chiellini for the third.

MF Andres Iniesta, 5 -- Tried to give Barca some control in a game where they rarely had any grip and things might have been different had he managed to beat Buffon in the first half, but he was poor defensively, like so many of his teammates.

FW Lionel Messi, 5 -- Threatened to sparkle in the first half such as with his brilliant reverse pass into Iniesta but was kept quiet for most of the game and was emphatically upstaged by his younger compatriot Dybala.

FW Luis Suarez, 4 -- Worked hard at times but was clumsy when the ball came his way and was helpless to get beyond Juve's rock-solid defence who were always alert when he came into the area. Missed a good chance to make it 3-1 as he blasted beyond Gianluigi Buffon's far post.

FW Neymar, 5 -- Juve did a superb job on the Brazilian, constricting him for most of the game and depriving Barca of one of their most important creative outlets.


MF Andre Gomes, 5 -- Barca fans must have sighed when they saw him on the sidelines to replace Mathieu at half-time but the much-vilified Portuguese did not fare too badly although he never threatened to help turn the tide in Barca's favour.