By Victor Okoye
Juventus produced an exceptional defensive performance to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League after stopping Barcelona from scoring at the Nou Camp.
Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, Barca peppered the Italian goal but failed to repeat their last-16 miracle when they overturned a first-leg 4-0 deficit to beat Paris St-Germain.
Lionel Messi, who had earlier been denied by Gianluigi Buffon, fired wastefully over the bar while Luis Suarez and Neymar also spurned chances on a night Barca were restricted to one shot on target.
Juve’s Gonzalo Higuain fired tamely at Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Juan Cuadrado missed another chance but the final whistle was celebrated wildly by the champions of Italy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the champions of Italy are now180 minutes away from the final in Cardiff on 3 June after a superb defensive performance as Barca and their formidable strike force failed to score over two legs.
Juventus were as brave and aggressive as they were calm and disciplined with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini monumental at the heart of the defence.
When Barca did manage to carve out chances, Suarez, Messi and Neymar failed to deliver.
All three had chances before the interval. In the space of a few minutes, Suarez had a goal-bound shot blocked, Messi dragged a chance from 12 yards and Neymar volleyed wide.
It said everything about Juve’s defensive display that Buffon only had one save to make, the 39-year-old denying Messi before the Barca forward hammered the rebound into the side-netting.
Yet Juve, as adventurous going forward as they were solid at the back, might have beaten the Spanish champions for the second time in a week.
Higuain should have done better from close range after a ball over the top before Cuadrado flashed a chance narrowly wide on the counter.
In the end it did not matter, Juve and their travelling fans celebrated a night to remember.
In the second match of the night, Monaco reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2004 after an impressive 3-1 second-leg performance in the last eight against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
The Ligue 1 side took a 3-2 first-leg lead back to Stade Louis II, where kick-off was pushed back five minutes after Dortmund’s team bus was delayed.
Teenager Kylian Mbappe pounced from close range to increase Monaco’s advantage after three minutes and Radamel Falcao headed in soon after to all but put the tie beyond Dortmund.
The Bundesliga outfit threw on exciting forward Ousmane Dembele and it was a fantastic run from the 19-year-old that set up Marco Reus to lash in after the break.
But substitute Valere Germain scored 21 seconds after coming off the bench for the hosts to secure a 6-3 aggregate win and their spot in the last four.
Leonardo Jardim’s young Monaco side have swept aside all before them in the Champions League this season, entertaining as they go with a brand of fearless, attacking football that the Portuguese boss said before the tie is part of their “DNA”.
Both Monaco and Juventus join Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in Friday’s last-four draw (from 11:00 BST).