Football

Bonucci: Europe now fear the 
Old Lady

Juventus' outstanding display to knock Barcelona out of the Champions League will have the rest of Europe fearing the Old Lady, said defender Leonardo Bonucci.

Juve served Barca a two-year-old dish of revenge for defeat in the 2015 Champions League final with a comprehensive 3-0 beating last week in Turin, and followed it up with a goal-less draw at the Nou Camp yesterday morning (Singapore time) to reach the European Cup semi-finals for a 12th time.

Said Bonucci: "It's not about who we don't want to face because none of the other teams want to face us.

"Juventus invoke fear in everyone else and now our objective is to reach the final.

"We showed great unity and solidarity. We have belief in ourselves, because scoring three goals against Barcelona and keeping a clean sheet at the Nou Camp shows we are a great team. Now there are another two steps to go.

"This side deserves praise for the way we approach every game, whether we're playing Barcelona or Pescara," added the Italy defender, whose side have conceded only two goals in 10 games in Europe this term.

Juve have monopolised their domestic league since 2011/12 and are on course for a sixth consecutive Serie A crown this season. In comparison, they have won Europe's biggest prize just twice, in 1985 and 1996.

Captain Gianluigi Buffon hopes their win over Barcelona is a sign that his side are ready to take the next step.

"We started growing a few years ago and we need to continue on it," said the 39-year-old goalkeeper.

"It can't just stop or plateau after this victory. It's down to us now, our destiny is in our own hands. When it comes down to who wins the trophy, fate has a hand in that too." - REUTERS

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