news_football_20042017

No Dortmund comeback

Berlin (dpa) - Juventus denied Barcelona another Champions League miracle as the Italian champions played to a 0-0 draw at the Catalan giants to reach the semi-finals Wednesday along with in-form Monaco.

Goalkeeper icon Gianluigi Buffon and his team-mates stood firm against Lionel Messi and company at the Nou Camp as they won the quarter-final tie from their 3-0 home victory last week.

Barca had famously reversed a 4-0 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain with a 6-1 triumph in the last 16 but have now failed to make the semis for the third time in four seasons.

"Not conceding against a team like Barcelona is not simple, we are very happy with our performance," Juve forward Paulo Dybala said.

Monaco meanwhile added a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund to their 3-2 in Germany to make the last four for the first time since 2004.

Super talent Kylian Mbappe and veteran captain Radamel Falcao were on target in the first 20 minutes, and substitute Valere Germain got the third. Marco Reus scored for Dortmund but the Bundesliga has no team left in the semis for the first time since 2009.

"This is a magical moment for a young and ambitious team," Germain said.

Monaco and Juve completed the semi-final line-up after the previous day holders Real Madrid advanced 6-3 on aggregate over Bayern Munich from a 4-2 extra-time win, and crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid prevailed 2-1 over Leicester City after a 1-1 draw in England.

The semi-final draw is on Friday.

Barca's bid for a second miracle was daunting from the outset, given that Juve had won all previous four away games in the campaign and conceded only two goals in nine games in the competition.

Messi aimed inches wide right in the 21st and had a shot saved by buffon 10 minutes later while Gonzalo Higuain narrowly failed to convert in the 35th and Juan Cuadrado aimed inches wide shortly after the restart as Juve also made their presence felt.

Barca however started to mount more pressure, Buffon barely stopped Messi's low shot in the 56th, and Messi even remained stranded on 498 Barca goals when he aimed high after a rare Buffon mistake in the 66th.

Time eventually ran out for Barca after Buffon also saved from Neymar as Juve's defence marshalled by Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci stood firm while Barca's Neymar and Luis Suarez disappointed.

The Italian champions avenged their 3-1 defeat from the 2015 final and remain on course towards a first title since 1996 - while Barca need to regroup quickly for Sunday's league Clasico at Real Madrid.

"We came here knowing that we are a great team and we played like a great team. We were fully aware that Barcelona are also very strong, but we knew that we could defend well if all the players were sacrificing together, playing as a unit, and so we did," Cuadrado said.

The start of the game in Monaco was delayed by a few minutes because Dortmund's team bus departure from the hotel was delayed by 20 minutes by police.

The incident a week after the attack on the bus in Dortmund may have affected concentration as their comeback mission, with Reus back from a hamstring injury, was dented just three minutes into the game.

Benjamin Mendy got an unchallenged shot which Roman Buerki parried but Mbappe tapped in for 1-0 on the rebound.

Dortmund's Nuri Sahin fired a free-kick against the right post in the 14th but their hopes effectively ended three minutes later when the unmarked captain Falcao headed the second off Thomas Lemar's cross.

Reus pulled one back in the 48th into the top right corner and Dortmund continued to attack but Germain wrapped up matters for Monaco less than a minute after coming on in the 80th.

"Our performance wasn't good enough to achieve something special," Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel told Sky TV.

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