Gerard Pique said Juventus “built a mountain” as the Italian side claimed a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou to keep Barcelona quiet for 180 minutes across two legs, and knock them out of the Champions League. The centre-half, who was hugely magnanimous about Max Allegri’s side and cited them as likely winners of the competition, also expressed his pride at the home fans singing despite what was a “hard defeat”.
Barca missed a series of chances on the night, but still never really made Juventus feel uncomfortable.
“Juventus are a great team, and were the better team over the tie. I wish them the best until the final, I believe they can win it. We played our game, and at the start created chances, but they built a mountain. It was a result that was very difficult to turn around and it wasn’t to be. They are Italians and know how to defend well, they are specialists in this. They came to play their football and they succeeded.
Barcelona 0 Juventus 0 player ratings
Barcelona 0 Juventus 0 player ratings
1/22 Marc-Andre Ter Stegen – 6 out of 10
Up to the task on the few occasions Juventus called him into action, but on the whole had little to contend with.
2/22 Sergi Roberto – 6 out of 10
Attacked with purpose down Barcelona’s right but could not repeat his heroics of the last round.
3/22 Gerard Pique – 6 out of 10
Did well to deny Cuadrado in the first quarter of an hour, but will have hoped to have made a more telling contribution at the other end.
4/22 Samuel Umtiti – 6 out of 10
Another Barca defender who largely coped with what he was tasked to do, but his side’s problems lay up front.
5/22 Jordi Alba – 5 out of 10
Should have connected and scored after Messi’s beautiful lofted pass early on.
6/22 Ivan Rakitic – 5 out of 10
An underwhelming display, with no notable moments of invention on a night when Barca needed his vision and creativity.
7/22 Sergio Busquets – 6 out of 10
Did the simple stuff in the centre of the park, as you might expect, but it would take more than that to break down the Juventus defence.
8/22 Andres Iniesta – 6 out of 10
Showed the most of any Barca midfielder, but that’s not saying much. A devilish first half cross was one of the few to get the better of Chiellini.
9/22 Lionel Messi – 6 out of 10
A few neat touches, but we’ve come to expect so much more. Unusually wasteful in front of goal, the best player in the world had a night to forget.
10/22 Luis Suarez – 5 out of 10
Uncharacteristically quiet. Chiellini successfully shackled his old foe.
11/22 Neymar – 8 out of 10
Barcelona’s best performer, the player most likely to make things happen, but appeared to let his frustration with the officials get the better of him at times.
12/22 Gianluigi Buffon – 6 out of 10
Lucky not to be punished by Messi when he failed to collect a corner. Otherwise, was his usual dependable self.
13/22 Dani Alves – 7 out of 10
His defensive capabilities were doubted in his final days at the Nou Camp, but showed he can still be relied upon here.
14/22 Leonardo Bonucci – 9 out of 10
Chiellini’s equal. Put himself between almost every Barcelona effort and his goal.
15/22 Giorgio Chiellini – 9 out of 10
There is perhaps no other current defender you would want in your side when protecting a three goal lead at the Nou Camp. Predictably excellent.
16/22 Alex Sandro – 6 out of 10
Weakest member of Juventus’ stubborn backline, but still a creditable display. Owes Khedira after the midfielder bailed him out of a failed attempt to nutmeg Suarez.
17/22 Sami Khedira – 7 out of 10
Good defensively, but made the wrong decision while in possession on several occasions when his team were countering.
18/22 Miralem Pjanic – 9 out of 10
Hardly put a foot wrong throughout. Known for his creativity, but put a shift in when his side needed him here.
19/22 Juan Cuadrado – 7 out of 10
Full of running and energy, posed a constant threat down Juventus’ right, but his team-mates failed to make enough use of him.
20/22 Paulo Dybala – 6 out of 10
Did not sparkle like in the first leg but did not have to. Contributed to his side’s dogged rearguard effort.
21/22 Mario Mandzukic – 6 out of 10
Has adapted well to his new left-midfield role, chipping in defensively when required.
22/22 Gonzalo Higuain – 6 out of 10
Had the chance to steal an unlikely lead for the visitors on the half volley early on but fired high.
“This is a hard defeat, but the support singing like that tonight deserves to be recorded. It’s one of the few times I’ve seen the Camp Nou like this after a defeat. It fills me with pride and makes me emotional to see that despite having lost.”
Barca have now gone out at the quarter-final stage of the competition for the second successive season, fostering the feeling of an end of an era, especially with manager Luis Enrique’s impending departure at the end of the season. There is still the chance to close his reign with a league title, though, but it probably requires victory in a hugely consequential Clasico at Camp Nou on Sunday. Pique expressed optimism for that clash.
“We are human, of course something is going to affect us. On Sunday there’s another big match, and we’ll go there to compete and try and win. Even if we are not in our best moment, I believe we can go there and win.”Reuse content