In any other era, against any other team, three goals without reply in the first leg of a European quarter-final would ordinarily be enough to win a tie, but Juventus know that at the Nou Camp strange and marvellous things have happened before, and they might just happen again.
Even on a night like this, the Italian champions hardly needed telling that Paris Saint-Germain scored four against Barcelona in Paris in the previous round and that turned out to be insufficient to eliminate this great late-Lionel Messi era team.
Despite their wretched away form this season, Barcelona are still doing many of the brilliant things that Barcelona used to do, just not all the parts function any longer.
They meet for the much-anticipated second leg next Wednesday and in the meantime Juventus, who have conceded just two Champions League goals all season, have this masterful win. Now all they have to do is avoid being taken apart piece by piece, in the same way PSG were three weeks after their greatest ever European result.
On this night were two fine goals by the young Argentine Paulo Dybala, another from the old warhorse Giorgio Chiellini and plenty of the hard yards from a Juventus team who had their opposition swirling around the battlements for most of the evening.
This was not a bad Barcelona performance by the standards of their catastrophe in Paris in the previous round, it was just they could not find a way through.
They will need three goals in the second leg at least to have a chance of a Champions League semi-final place in Luis Enrique’s final season and while it is hard to see them pulling off another escape, it is not impossible. For all the frustrations he might have felt, there were still some moments of remarkable quality from Messi, although precious little from Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Enrique said afterwards that it felt like “the third half of the Paris game”.
“I am always an optimist but I can always grieve too,” he said. “I feel 100 per cent responsible for what happened and that is heavy to take but from tomorrow we must get up and have to think about trying to come back. It was a nightmare but it’s part of football, like life itself.”
It was a great evening for Massimo Allegri, currently favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger at Arsenal whenever that job becomes available.
“It’s not over, football is a strange game and we will have to play a game with even more courage,” he said. “They scored six goals against PSG so we have to look to score a goal. The lads want to get to the final and we have to work for that. We know it will be difficult.”
PSG took 55 minutes to score three in their home leg against Barcelona in February and it took exactly the same time for Juventus to do the same. All but one of Barcelona’s eight defeats this season have come away from home and they were undone early on by the quick feet and sharp mind of Dybala.
What strikes you first about the 23-year-old Argentine of Polish and Italian heritage is the economy of movement and swiftness of execution with which he approaches his chances around goal. His first strike required two touches and his second just the one to sweep the ball left-footed past Marc ter Stegen from the edge of the area and give Juventus control of the game at half-time.
The hard centre of Juventus’ midfield, Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic, was augmented by periods of full press from their team-mates. There were other times when they withdraw into a compact shape to soak up the pressure and then at the end they were forced permanently onto the back foot.
16 - Juventus have now won 16 successive home matches in all competitions, and are unbeaten in 48 games there (W42 D6 L0). Titans. pic.twitter.com/QvbTiFMMrw
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 11, 2017
Dybala’s first started when the ball went right to Juan Cuadrado and he played it into the area to the Argentine who switched it from right foot to left and stroked his shot beyond ter Stegen.
The second, 20 minutes later, he met first time with his left foot from a cutback from the left, whipping a shot around Gerard Pique and just inside the right post of ter Stegen’s goal.
Messi had a goal disallowed for Luis Suarez’s offside position. Then the brilliant Gianluigi Buffon saved from Andres Iniesta when Messi had threaded the pass of the match to him, straight through the heart of Juventus, a miraculous ball that took out five opponents and scarcely had an angle on it.
Javier Mascherano was moved back to centre-half in a half-time defensive re-organisation by Enrique and the Argentine looked like he was fouled for the third goal which Chiellini headed in over him from a corner.
Juventus were clinging on to the clean sheet at the end, their seventh in the Champions League this season, and steadying themselves for the storm that awaits next week.
Time on ball (at full time)
Average touch positions (full time)
Barcelona leave themselves in need of another miracle to keep European dreams alive and though they've done it before, you fancy Turin might be the last destination on their adventure this season. Juventus were tactically superior, stronger, more aggressive and Barcelona's squad depth was really exposed here. Over to you, Luis Enrique.
90 mins +2
Lemina and Umtiti are both booked for having a little dig at each other. Higuain spots Alves running into the area and plays a perfectly weighted pass to him. Could the ex-Barca player really score against his old team?! No. Is the answer.
Yellow cards flying around at Juventus Stadium
Szymon Marciniak brandishes his seventh yellow card of the game - Mario Lemina is the latest name in the book for Juventus.
Pjanic off, Barzagli on. That leaves Juventus with Higuain and Mandzukic the only attacking players on the pitch.
Messi takes it but it's not his best and the ball slams off the wall. Suarez waits for it to drop, scoops it away and then seems to wait for Chiellini to slide in... but the Italian is smart and doesn't lunge. Corner.
Messi is brought down on the edge of the box by a clumsy challenge from Rincon. This is absolutely perfect for Messi to hit...
Sandro gets a little nudge from Messi while going for a header and it sends him flying off balance, landing on his back. That looked pretty sore. The free-kick is cleared away by Messi on the volley and Barca eventually work their passing one more to get forward... but Suarez doesn't read a stabbed little pass and Juve can clear.
Barcelona are pushing for this away goal now. Rakitic links well with Roberto on the right, Messi sends a teasing cross in from the left... Juve survive. Umtiti was so close to getting his head on that Messi cross.
Dybala is coming off for Tomas Rincon for the final 10 minutes. He's a defensive midfielder, which kinda tells you what Juve are looking to do here now.
Beautiful turn by Iniesta on the edge of the box. He pirouettes as the ball comes to feet then shifts the balance to his other foot and finds space but has the ball nicked away from him. Gomes lets the Juve player stride past him without making a challenge.
Buffon punches well but the referee had already blown for a free-kick. He's made some weird decisions tonight.
Time on ball (60 - 75 min)
This makes Barca seem far more wasteful than they've actually been. All these shots have been difficult to get away.
Khedira is booked for a dive on the edge of the Barcelona box. He sees Gomes come across to make the tackle and goes flying but sees the funny side as he is shown the yellow card.
Cuadrado sits down for a while after going down in his own box and he is now being substituted for Mario Lemina.
SO CLOSE SUAREZ! It's a wonderful passing move, Messi provides the spark of genius and Suarez spins Bonucci again. He drags his shot wide... or it looks like that at first but it turns out Buffon has made another ridiculous save.
Barcelona should have a penalty as Neymar's shot comes off the outstretched arm of Chiellini. It happens very quickly but the referee sees no foul.
Mandzukic is booked for definitely leaving something on Roberto. I wonder why nobody thought it sensible to put a tall person on man-marking Chiellini duties for that third goal.
If Barcelona turn this around, it will be the greatest comeback in the Champions League since.....their last game.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 11, 2017
Still... they just need one away goal to make it interesting...
Messi is starting to try and take matters into his own hands. He's just absolutely binned Khedira with a little shoulder drop on the edge of the box, but the resulting corner is headed away. Juve pinned back now but that's kind of how they like it. The counter-attack is where they'll find buried treasure Arrrghghghhh I don't know why I've become a pirate towards the end of this sentence.
Time on ball (45 - 60 min)
Iniesta is booked for a foul 35 yards from goal, it's sent out wide, Cuadrado is tackled by Neymar, who looks up and shouts at his teammates. Who would have thought Barcelona would give three goals up in another first leg European tie? (I did)
Juventus are cruising now. Giorgio Chiellini adds another to make it 3-0.
Wonderful header but this is more terrible defending from Barcelona!
INIESTAAAAA over the bar. He goes for a Lee Carvallo Power Drive but sends the ball flying high - you need to get a bit on your shots to take them past Buffon. I assume.
Cuadrado finds space on the right, has time, more time, a bit more time and then finds Higuain in the middle just outside the box. He takes it down, has time, some more time and bends one towards the bottom corner but Ter Stegen saves!
Andre Gomes completely out of position there! WAKE UP BOY!
What a turn by Suarez! Mascherano fires a direct pass into his feet, he spins his marker and Buffon comes out to smother. Andre Gomes has already played two passes which his teammates have had to sprint to prevent going out of play. I really don't want to pick on him but his confidence has really suffered this season and he keeps doing little things here and there that upset the team. His non-tracking back is a nightmare.
Juventus start the half by causing trouble at Barcelona's end and then Bonucci puts in slide tackle of the century, diving in from behind to deny Neymar a one on one with Buffon. The ball falls loose and Messi has the chance to score on his right foot! But he sidefoots wide.
And then Khedira has a chance to shoot from long range! Great start to the half!
Can Barca get back into this one?
Changes for Barca. Mathieu is off, Andre Gomes. It looks like Barca have changed to a back four now as well... with Umtiti at left-back, Mascherano at centre-back.
A game of tactics
Juventus have absolutely nailed this, Barcelona have not. Umtiti is basically playing as a sweeper with Pique wandering slightly further ahead of him. Mathieu is wide left, Roberto is wide right. I think the planning behind this is that because Juventus were always going to sit deep for long spells of the game, getting more players forward is about the only way to outnumber them.
Busquets is a huge miss here. Mascherano isn't as good at breaking up play or starting it as Busquets, and Rakitic has made a few mistakes in possession too. Barca just need one goal to give themselves a massive chance of overturning the deficit at the Nou Camp... but I'm not sure where that will come from if not simply a piece of improvised genius from one of the front three.
That said, Buffon's save from Iniesta's shot was outstanding. If Claudio Bravo was playing that was a guaranteed goal.
A little stat for you
7 - Of all outfield players in Juventus v Barcelona, only Sami Khedira (8) so far lost possession more often than Neymar & Messi (7). Tough.
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) April 11, 2017
Time on ball (first half)
Average touch positions (half time)
And the last action of the half is a chipped ball across the box which Bonucci is inches away from turning into a goal. Luis Enrique's team do not look good tonight.
Dybala is smart there. He knows Mascherano is coming, waits for contact and goes to ground. The referee seems a little whistle happy here, or at least when it comes to Juve players going down. Barca aren't getting the free-kicks they want.
Higuain tries a left-footed shot across Ter Stegen's goal but the keeper palms it away and it's a corner. And then it's another corner as Barca fail to defend it properly.
Barcelona players aren't enjoying the tough tackling by the Italians but so far few of them have been fouls...
Alves is on a yellow but other than that Juve have defended well and Barca's silky forwards don't like knowing a defender might go through them...
Mascherano has just squared up to a Juventus midfielder as he nearly loses the ball in the middle. Messi spins his marker and fires a ball into Neymar but he wastes it, Mathieu gets it out left, fires in the cross early and Suarez can't connect properly at the near post. Neymar takes the corner... and it's into the six yard box... Buffon picks the ball off the floor.
Andre Gomes is warming up on the touchline. He's a good player in a defensive, counter-attacking team - this Barcelona side they will fall apart if he is to come on.
This is very impressive by Juve. They stay deep in their own half as Barca try to create space with their passing but there's not really any to be had. And then it just takes one Juve player to spark the counter-attack and they're away! Dani Alves finds Cuadrado, who finds Pjanic, but his shot goes miles over.
Messi is getting fired up. Mandzukic "shields" the ball out of play and without really ever committing foul, does it in a very annoying way. He gives one of those shrugs after as if to say "what was I meant to do" but Messi doesn't like it, since he clearly feels he should have done something that wasn't nearly picking Messi up off the floor.
That's a photo of Dybala scoring the second. Juve are back to a deep defensive line. Chiellini and Bonucci are on the 18 yard line, every Juve player behind the centre-circle. Bonucci howks the ball out of play to break up the Barcelona move around the penalty area. Cuadrado tries to dribble out of trouble and nearly runs into waiting Barca players... but gets a little pull and wins a free-kick.
Time on ball (15 - 30 min)
Umtiti does really well towin the ball in midfield but Sandro does even better to block Rakitic's pass out to the right. Juventus are being really clever here - at times they're pressing high, then they go really deep, then high... it's quite confusing.
AND MESSI IS IN! He goes round the keeper and scores but the referee had already blown the whistle. I want to see a replay of that one...
Ahhh it turns out Suarez was offside in the build-up. Good decision!
Dani Alves leaves one on Neymar... and the referee seems to indicate that'll be the last of the many fouls Juventus have already committed on him that they get away with without a booking. Malaga kicked Neymar to high heaven in the 2-0 win on the weekend.
Paulo Dybala has doubled Juventus's lead - it's now 2-0.
Oh Barcelona are all over the place here. The central midfield is basically not even there and the centre-backs are all over the place! Another great bit of movement from Dybala who finishes superbly past Ter Stegen.
That pass. Honestly. Wow. Buffon's save was great too but I will never understand how Messi spots that pass.
That was the celebration for the goal. Let's move on.
Mathieu is getting really high up the pitch on the left wing when Barca are in possession.
AND INIESTA IS CLEAN THROUGH ON GOAL! What a pass by Messi! That through-ball is incredible! Iniesta goes one on one with Buffon and the Italian wins.
Barcelona failing to make their possession pay
The visitors have had the majority of the ball - but still they trail to Juventus.
Juventus have gone into Italian Mode and are sitting back in numbers, defending. Barcelona are trying to pass their way through but it's happening yet. Suarez very nearly completely caught Bonucci out, reading his dummy and running the opposite side to steal the ball. It pings back off Bonucci's leg and the Juventus man gets lucky!
Time on ball (0 - 15 min)
119 years of premium football at Juventus & yet someone decides that what they really need in 2017 is a Fratellis loop when the team score
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) April 11, 2017
Barcelona hit back
Barcelona register their first shot, in response to three so far from Juventus.
Messi is taken down on the edge of the area as Suarez tells well to steal the ball back from Chiellini (the one he tried to eat at World Cup 2014). Chiellini lunges in and this is a decent chance to get the ball in the box.
Messi takes it... but he launches it over the bar.
Barcelona could really do with stopping getting off to such horrible starts in European games. Messi was another at fault for the opening goal - he gave the ball away.
1-0! Paulo Dybala strikes to give Juventus the early lead.
Great goal! And it's that danger man! Nobody gets close to the Argentinian as he moves into space between the centre-backs and Mascherano, and he can turn and place his shot into the bottom corner.
Barca are playing with a back three, Neymar wide left, Messi wide right. They press high as Juve try to play out from the back but Matieu fouls Sandro and that attack fizzles out.
It's been an exciting opening few moments - Juve are well up for this.
Juve then win a free-kick early on, wide right. Pjanic whips it in and Higauin has a free header! OOOHHHH Ter Stegen saves, spills, and recovers.
Here we go!
Juventus pre-match music is The Hives!
Just happens to be one of the best bands in the history of the world. I really like Juventus all of a sudden.
Here come the teams
It's all smiles in the tunnel at the Juventus Stadium as Dani Alves hangs out with his pals from Barcelona.
The stadium is filling up
This is from earlier. Meanwhile, it has just been confirmed that Dortmund vs Monaco has been postponed.
This boy is something else.
I wish there was just one video of a footballer doing cool stuff which isn't bedded with dreadful music.
Dybala has been linked heavily with a move to Chelsea or Real Madrid in the summer - if you aren't familiar with him yet, you will be after watching the game tonight. Let's hope he has a good one. When he's on form he's amazing to watch.
Barcelona shape part 2
OK I've looked at it a bit now and I think I may have jumped to a wrong conclusion. UEFA's tactical line-ups have Barca in a 4-3-3 with Roberto at right-back and Mathieu left-back. Umtiti can also play left-back... perhaps Enrique just wants to be able to switch into a few different shapes during the game. This lineup gives them options. Also, it means that Andre Gomes is nowhere near the first team. He's awful.
Juventus almost always play in a 4-2-3-1, with Dybala just behind Higuain. Barcelona have tinkered with their shape and system a lot and the weekend's defeat to Malaga has clearly had an impact on Enrique's team selection.
This Barca teams looks like a 3-4-3, but with Alba out of the side it's a little confusing as to where everyone is playing. Mathieu, Pique and Umtiti will probably be the three centre-backs, Mascherano will play in Busquet's position, and that leaves Iniesta, Rakitic and Messi or Roberto...?
One person injured in Borussia Dortmund bus "explosion"
There's some breaking news from tonight's other Champions League tie. Some sort of explosion has reportedly taken place near/by the Borussia Dortmund bus. One person, said to be Marc Bartra, has been injured. You can follow that story in our liveblog.
Buffon; Dani Alves, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain.
Ter Stegen; Mathieu, Pique, Umtiti; Mascherano, Iniesta, Rakitic, Messi; Neymar, Suarez, Roberto