Paulo Dybala scored twice as Juventus took charge of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Barcelona courtesy of a commanding home-leg display in Turin.
The Argentine forward curled home both of his goals before the break, the first from an angle inside the box and the second from a central position on the edge.
Juve turned a dominant lead into one that should see them go on and win the tie when Giorgio Chiellini showed strength and guile to steer home a header from a corner.
For the second European round running, Barca – who were as defensively suspect as they were in losing 4-0 to Paris St-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 tie – must come back from a heavy away defeat to progress.
However, after their record-breaking achievement to overturn that deficit against PSG, they will retain hope heading into the return leg at the Nou Camp on 19 April.
Here are the player ratings for the defeated Barcelona side:
TER STEGEN (4) Nervous. Perhaps could have done more not the goals, but difficult to blame him. However, he did not look comfortable and is not able to keep Barça in games.
PIQUE (5) Appeared desperate in several phases of the game. Struggled with the pressure from Juve, especially in the first 20 minutes. Was better when Barcelona played with a back four, although it was constantly changing.
UMTITI (5) A discrete performance, moved into the middle of the defence by his manager for the shipwreck which was the first half. Better in the second period when on the left.
MATHIEU (1) Another frustrating game. Played as the third defender, on the left, and was too far away from Juan Cuadrado for the first Juve goal. The Serie A side targeted his side. Alba, presumably, couldn’t believe it, sat on the bench. Taken off at half-time for Andre Gomes.
MASCHERANO (4) Will have nightmares because team-mate Dybala gave him problems. Second goal clearly his fault as he arrived late and for the third, he was bettered in the air by Chiellini. A game to forget.
RAKITIC (5) Did not look comfortable. In the second half he improved, but his contribution was anecdotal. In fact, he wasted a couple of good chances to cross the ball, finding the stands.
INIESTA (4) Had the 1-1 at his feet after a genius assist from Messi, but missed it. Had two more chances, but didn’t hit the target. Did not perform the role required of a leader.
MESSI (6) Created two good chances, one for Suarez and another Iniesta, both wasted. Dropped his head in the second half at times, a sign that things aren’t going well — something which has happened too much this season.
SERGI ROBERTO (7) The only player who will return from Turin with the sensation that he gave everything on the pitch. His second half was packed with work and sacrifice.
SUAREZ (6) Ran and fought for everything, but without results. Had a clear chance, but was denied by Buffon.
NEYMAR (3) A poor performance on a bad day for Neymar. Dani Alves and Cuadrado were able to completely nullify his threat.
ANDRE GOMES (6) Came on the in the second half in Busquets’ role. Did things correctly, not often losing the ball.