BARCELONA: Barcelona failed to mount another remarkable Champions League after being held goalless at home by battle-toughened Juventus who reached the semi-finals 3-0 on aggregate.
The Italian champions barely gave Barca a glimmer of hope of repeating their historic turnaround against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 and protected their healthy advantage from the first leg by starving the hosts of space and clear sights of goal.
Lionel Messi came closest to giving Barca a route back into the contest with four strikes at goal but failed to hit the target with any of them and frequently came up short against Juve’s intimidating centre-back pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said: “Juventus are a great team and they were better than us in the tie and overall they deserved to go through.
“It was a difficult result to come back from although we tried until the end. They’re Italian and they defended well. They knew how they wanted to play and got their objective. We created chances but little by little we realised we had a mountain to climb.”
Twice European champions Juve lacked the spark and power of their thrilling first-leg victory in Turin, but there was rarely any doubt they would exact revenge for their defeat by Barca in the 2015 Champions League final by reaching the semis for a 12th time.
Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim promised his team would stay true to their offensive style in the Champions League semi-finals after eliminating Borussia Dortmund thanks to another attacking brilliant display.
The principality side beat Dortmund 3-1 in the quarter-final second leg to secure a 6-3 aggregate win as they scored at least three goals for the fifth consecutive time in Europe’s premium club competition.
Leonardo said: “It could have been 5-3 or 6-3 because both teams missed several chances.”
The Ligue 1 leaders, the first team in the Champions League to reach the last four after going through two preliminary rounds, had the game almost wrapped up after early goals by youngster Kylian Mbappe and Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.
Leonardo said they would not change their approach ahead of a possible semi-final against Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid or Juventus.
He added: “We played a very solid game, we were in control but we showed ambition. We were always looking for the extra goal, that is the way we play, it is in our DNA.
“Our rivals will want to draw us (on Friday) but our ambition is to enjoy it and play with our attacking qualities like we always do.”