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No Barcelona comeback as Juventus reaches Champions semis

Juventus players celebrate after winning the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg football match FC Barcelona vs. Juventus at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Wednesday. (AFP)
BARCELONA, Spain: Juventus made sure there were no more miracles at Camp Nou on Wednesday, as the Italian visitors held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw and advanced to the Champions League semifinals.
The second-leg stalemate sealed a 3-0 win on aggregate and came six weeks after Barcelona's historic 6-1 thrashing of Paris Saint-Germain, when the home side became the first team to ever overturn a 4-0 loss in the competition.
Juventus showed all the poise and experience that PSG had sorely lacked in the previous round.
"Juventus is a great team and they were better than us," Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said. "It was a difficult result to turn around, although we tried until the end. They are an Italian club and defend very well. I wish them the best and I think they can win the title."
True to the Italian tradition of defending an advantage, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had little work to do until late in the game, as Massimiliano Allegri's side expertly absorbed Barcelona's high-paced passing attack that ultimately produced few good scoring opportunities.
And when Lionel Messi did get free inside the area, Barcelona's all-time leading scorer squandered both his chances to spark a fightback.
The only miracle seen in Barcelona this time was Juventus not getting a late goal with the Spanish side barely having legs to recover on defense.
Juventus joins Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Monaco in the semifinal draw on Friday.
The result ended Barcelona's run of 15 wins in as many home European matches since the arrival of coach Luis Enrique, who will leave the club this summer.
Barcelona must rest and regroup for Sunday's trip to play Real Madrid in a "clasico" match that will go a long way to deciding the Spanish league title.
Monaco reached the final four after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 on Wednesday for a 6-3 aggregate win.
Even with Barcelona in full-attack mode, the same Juventus starting 11 from the first leg masterfully managed the match, bending but never breaking under the assault.
Messi had a great chance to boost Barcelona's chances in the 19th minute when a long buildup ended with Luis Suarez setting him up near the penalty spot, only for Messi to fire wide.
Barcelona continued to penetrate the right side of Juventus' defense, where Neymar and Andres Iniesta started to cause Dani Alves and Juan Cuadrado problems. Neymar volleyed Jordi Alba's pass wide before Messi drew the first save from Buffon just past the half-hour mark.
Juventus, however, tightened its defense, anchored by Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, and the hosts' opportunities dried up.
Messi' frustrating first half had a painful ending when he was caught by Miralem Pjanic while jumping for a ball. Messi tumbled face first into the turf, and showed a small scratch that bled on his cheek once he got back on his feet. Neymar was then booked for an apparent retaliatory charge into Pjanic, earning him a one-game suspension for accumulation of yellow cards.
The second half started with Barcelona taking more risks and leaving its backline exposed for counterattacks.
The push led to three efforts from Messi that went close, while Cuadrado had two attempts going the other way, the second requiring goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to paw his shot past his upright in the 54th.
Messi wasted another opportunity in the 67th when Suarez found him in the box after Buffon left his line and failed to clear the ball.
Iniesta finally gave Buffon a real challenge with 10 minutes remaining, when his glancing effort of a cross made the veteran goalkeeper get low to save.
Juventus will be without midfielder Sami Khedira for the first leg of the semifinals for accumulated bookings after he earned a yellow for fouling Suarez.
The two-time European champions are set to complete an excellent campaign. They lead the Italian league and have line up an Italian Cup final against Lazio.

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