Juventus 0-0 Barcelona: Stalemate Enough to See Barca Reach Last 16 & Top Group D

Barcelona clinched their place in the last 16 of the Champions League via top spot of Group D on Wednesday evening after securing the single point they needed as they played out a goalless stalemate with Juventus inside the electric Allianz Stadium. 

It was clear from the outset that the visitors’ plans were to simply frustrate their opposition throughout, with Ernesto Valverde’s side comfortable with possession in their own half and remaining composed and patient all evening.  

The result, following on from Barca’s 3-0 victory from the reverse fixture in September, means, due to UEFA’s head-to-head ruling, the Catalonians now cannot be caught and will enjoy a second leg tie in the first round of the knockouts after the turn of the year. 

?It was an error strewn opening on a night where the visitors knew a draw would be enough for them to top the group, but there were a couple of sightings of goal for both sides in the first 20 minutes or so. 

Juventus wide man Douglas Costa had the first with some clever and pacey play, allowing the on-loan Bayern Munich attacker an opportunity to test Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen. But the German was was more than up for the challenge and in the end made a simple save. 

However, the closest the fixture between the two European giants came to a goal in the first half was through Barca man Ivan Rakitic, whose free-kick from deep crept through the crowded area untouched before ricochetting off the post and into the path of teammate Paulinho, but the Brazilian could not convert from close range. 

The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was then in the spotlight again just 10 minutes later, this time as referee Milorad Mazic deemed the 29-year-old to have over-simulated his fall from Miralem Pjanic’s challenge inside the area despite contact being made, albeit minimal. 

As the remainder of the half ticked on, both sided continued to struggle to assert their dominance, and the opening 45 came to a close with the score still goalless. 


Following the half-time oranges the thrills were well and truly far between, with Barca’s retention of possession really taking the sting out of any Juventus attacking threat. 

However, as they can at any given moment, the La Liga side fashioned a fantastic opportunity minutes after the hour-mark, but, rather surprisinglya simple lack of quality proved costly. 

Substitute Lionel Messi, who was given a well deserved break for the opening 50 minutes, picked out Lucas Digne, who was making his way towards the opposition box at pace, with an outstanding pin-point pass from deep. 

Following a defensive slip the Frenchman then found himself bearing down on Gianluigi Buffon’s goal with only the Italian veteran to beat and teammate Luis Suarez in support. But the 24-year-old’s squared pass towards the Uruguayan striker could only find a black and white shirt, begging the question why the left-back did not take the shot on himself. 

The remainder of the clash followed very much in the same fashion as previously, with neither Juventus or Barcelona able to really test one another in the attacking third. 

A smart save from Ter Stegen in stoppage time from a well-struck, first-time Paulo Dybala effort was the closest the hosts really came to breaking the deadlock all evening, however they were unable to and the spoils ended up being shared in Turin.