The Champions league semi-final spots have been sealed, with the four remaining teams arguably the biggest threat and giants currently plying their trade in Europe. Juventus won one of the toughest ties of the quarter-final draw and set the blueprint for stable football with their victory against Barcelona. After defeating the Spanish giants by two goals in the first leg played in Turin, Juventus, or commonly called ‘The Old Lady’ controlled the game at the Camp Nou in Spain as Barcelona and they got a valuable stalemate. However, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has said the loss may prepare them well for the biggest European clash against Real Madrid, which will be the sole focus of games this weekend. “We have a chance to move into first place in La Liga against a direct rival. It’s a great opportunity,” said Luis Enrique. The Madrid outfit is three points ahead of Barcelona on 75 points, with a game in hand.
Luis Enrique said the first half in Italy cost them, and not the whole first leg, “A poor first half in Turin cost us a chance to go through. In the second half, we had more chances than our rivals even though we gave up a goal,” he said. He added that tactically, it was tough for the Spanish outfit, “Tonight we saw two teams who attack. Juventus also looked for opportunities on the counterattack,” he said, “It was difficult for our players to control their intensity on the attack after recovering balls on defence.”
With one of the big teams eliminated, Juventus remain one of the favourites, and the coach Massimiliano Allegri was keen to shrug off the expectation, “This is just another step on the way to Cardiff,” he said, “We mustn’t let up at all now.” He said the team will enjoy the victory even though they have room for more improvement. “Some brilliant football was played tonight,” he said. Allegri, who is allegedly on the list of Arsenal coach Wenger’s replacements, said that the game was a treat for the fans, citing the mammoth quarter-final clash against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the same category.