FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid, Manchester United vs Liverpool, AC Milan vs Juventus. These matches are some of the greatest rivalries in club football. The sheer amount of anticipation and excitement that is associated when when two of the biggest teams from Europe lock horns with each other is unparalleled. The above-mentioned fixtures take place atleast twice a year as they feature teams from the same country. But, courtesy of the UEFA Champions League, football fans all over the world get two see the best clubs from one country clash against the best from another. One such fixture is FC Barcelona vs Juventus, which has been scheduled in this year’s Champions League quarter-finals, two years after they faced in the final of the same tournament. Here’s a look at the some of the best matches when these two teams faced other over the years:
Juventus 1-1 Barcelona
In the days when the Italians dominated world football, Barcelona had managed to scrape out a narrow 1-0 win at home against Juvetus in the first leg of the quarter-final fixture. In the second leg in Italy, Barcelona put the Bianconeri on the backfoot straightaway as they opened the scoring through Steve Archibald in the 30th minute. Fourteen minutes later, Juventus were back in the game as Ballon d’Or winning striker Michel Platini scored the equalizer just before half-time. The game ended with same scoreline as Barcelona managed to fend off Juventus’s attempts to get ahead and knock them out of the tournament.
Juventus 1-1 Barcelona
Coming in to the first leg of the fixture, Juventus had the worst record among all teams in the quarter-finals, as they struggled, especially, against tough opposition. However, the Serie A leaders went ahead in the 16th minute as Paolo Montero scored from a loose ball after Alessandro Del Piero’s overhead kick was saved by Barcelona keeper Roberto Bonano. Igor Tudor and Xavi came close to scoring for Juventus and Barcelona respectively as the match progressed, but the scoreline remained same. In the 78th, the Catalans finally equalized as Javier Saviola struck a shot which was deflected off Montero and past the outstretched hands of Gianluigi Buffon.
Barcelona 3-1 Juventus
Widely considered a dark horse in Europe among the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, Juventus finally displayed a performance worthy of that credit in the 2014-15 edition of the Champions League. The most successful team in Italy secured a place in the final of Europe’s most elite football competition on the back of wins against Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in the preceding phases, after having won the Serie A and the Italaian Cup already that season. Juventus were facing Barcelona, who were riding on the back of a stellar season under Luis Enrique, having won the La Liga and the Copa Del Rey, apart from defeating Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the knockout stages. Ivan Rakitic, then staking his claim as Xavi’s replacement, opened the scoring as early as the 4th minute to put the Catalans ahead, following a trademark Barcelona build-up which saw 10 of Barca’s outfield players touch the ball. Alvaro Morata nullified Rakitic’s opener in the 55th minute, netting a simple rebound off Marc Andre Ter Stegen. A similar kind of goal was scored in the 68th minute, this time by Barcelona, as Luis Suarez replicated Morata’s finish after Gianluigi Buffon had saved Lionel Messi’s shot. Neymar put the game to bed in injury time by adding a third for Barcelona following a quick break, as Barcelona lifted the Champions League trophy to complete a historic treble.
Barcelona 1-2 Juventus (After extra-time)
In the return leg in Spain, both sides played free-flowing football, creating a plethora of chances, but none of them could open the scoring as the first half ended goal-less. It was in the 53rd minute when Pavel Nedved broke the deadlock for Juventus, as he cut from the left side and fired a low finish past Bonano. Xavi cancelled out Nedved’s opener in the 66th minute, scoring from the edge of the box. Barcelona were throwing everything in their attacks and gained further momentum as Juve midfielder Edgar Davids was sent off in the 78th minute. Juventus somehow managed to extend the game into extra-time as Barcelona continued their attacking play. They sat back in extra-time, soaking in the chronic Catalan attacks. Patrick Kluivert almost scored the winner with a bicycle kick which was saved by Buffon from close range, and two minutes later, substitute Marcelo Zayaleta put Alessandro Birindelli’s cross into the net to send Juventus in to the semis, thus ending Barcelona’s unbeaten run in the competition.