CL: Juventus get a sniff of Cardiff finale after win over Barcelona
Italian giants' famous former striker Alessandro Del Piero and current manager Massimo Allegri believe their hardfought win over Barcelona across two quarter-finals legs proves that the team is on course for finale in Wales
Juventus players celebrate while Barcelona’s Gerard Pique (right) walks away after the Champions League quarter-final second leg at Camp Nou ended 0-0 on Wednesday night sending Juve into the semis. Pic/AFP
Barcelona: Juventus eliminated Spanish giants Barcelona from the UEFA Champions League with a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou to progress to the semi-finals, and are now being billed as title hopefuls by their famous former striker, Alessandro Del Piero, reported Goal.com.
Juventus have shown they are on the same level as the best teams in Europe and that they're built to win the Champions League, said Del Piero.
After an impressive 3-0 win over Barcelona in the quarter-final first leg, the Serie A champions held Luis Enrique's men to a goalless draw away to make the last four for the second time in three seasons. And Del Piero said that, after losing to Barcelona in the 2015 final, they are ready to claim the prized European title for the first time since 1996.
"They did everything they had to do without conceding anything to Barcelona," Del Piero told Sky. "Juventus reached the semi-finals for the second time in three years and that's a very important thing. Two years ago, Juventus seemed in deficit compared with Barca, but you didn't see that on the pitch. They defended as a great team and showed they're built to win the Champions League."
Massimiliano Allegri's men are currently eight points clear of second-placed Roma at the top of the Italian top-flight with six games to go. He said victory over FC Barcelona in the Champions League was a decisive step on the road to the tournament finale in Cardiff. "We have to compliment the lads for all they are doing this season. It's a step forward, a deserved qualification against a top level opponent," Allegri told Italian publication Mediaset.
"We did very well defensively, less so in attack where we failed to make the most of very promising counter-attacks. We were under the normal amount of pressure here, but it was a decisive step on the road to Cardiff. Barcelona failing to score goals over two legs is almost unheard of. The lads need to realise that they can do even better and we are slowly improving," he added.