Juventus beats FC Barcelona 2-1

Marcelo Zalayeta scored deep in extra time on Tuesday as Juventus beat FC Barcelona 2-1 and advanced to the Champions Cup semifinals on a 3-2 aggregate score.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Marcelo Zalayeta scored deep in extra time on Tuesday as Juventus beat FC Barcelona 2-1 and advanced to the Champions Cup semifinals on a 3-2 aggregate score. Uruguayan international Zalayeta, who came on at halftime for Marco di Vaio at the Camp Nou, netted in the 114th minute to stun Barcelona and end its 15-match unbeaten record in the competition this season. Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved had given Juventus a 53rd-minute lead and Spanish international Xavi Hernandez equalized in the 61st. Two-time Cup winner Juventus, which had midfielder Edgar Davids ejected in the 79th minute, reached its fifth semifinal since the Champions League adopted its format in 1992. The teams drew 1-1 in the first leg in Turin nearly two weeks ago. Zalayeta's goal was a blow to Barcelona, whose coach had promised a daring approach. The home side responded by mounting a series of surging attacks, forcing Juventus to resort to a series of heavy challenges. Juventus picked up two yellow cards in the 22nd minute when left back Gianluca Zambrotta and then central defender Paolo Montero were cautioned for fouls on Overmars. Davids received his first yellow for a fierce tackle on Xavi 10 minutes later. English referee Graham Poll infuriated the 98,000 crowd by failing to penalize Lippi's team even more, especially when he chose not to give a penalty when the ball hit French defender Lilian Thuram's left arm in the 34th minute. But Barcelona also made mistakes as the tension of the big occasion showed, which provided Juventus with chances too. Striker Alessando del Piero and Davids forced goalkeeper Roberto Bonano into crucial saves and defender Ciro Ferrera headed just over the bar before halftime. Two minutes into the second half, Barcelona midfielder Luis Enrique Martinez spurned a golden opportunity when, after rounding Montero, he curled his shot around 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon's left post. The former Spanish international midfielder had cause to rue his luck five minutes when Nedved gave Juventus an overall lead. The Czech's forceful run from the left took him into the penalty area, past central defender Patrik Andersson, and, before Dutch defender Frank de Boer had time to make a challenge, he shot home to Bonano's right. Roared on by the crowd, Barcelona leveled when Thuram's clearing header only fell to Xavi, lurking on the edge of the area, and the Spanish international drilled home. Davids, who had been harrying all match, was ejected after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on substitute Gaizka Mendieta. Despite Barcelona's frantic late efforts to grab a second goal against its 10-man opponent, the score remained 2-2 on aggregate and the game went into extra time. With Argentine substitute Juan Roman Riquelme playing a dominant role, the Catalan team dictated the first half of extra time, but Juventus' defense held firm. With Lippi's team clinging on, Buffon reacted well to parry Patrick Kluivert's shot with eight minutes remaining. A minute later, Zalayeta struck home a low cross from the right by Alessando Birindelli. Juventus will meet either Real Madrid or Manchester United on May 6 and 14. Madrid takes a 3-1 lead into Wednesday's game at Old Trafford. It's the first time two Italian teams have reached the semifinals. (AP)