Sunday 21 January 2018

Juventus forced to dig deep to bridge 12-year gap

Monaco 0 Juventus 0: Juventus win 1-0 on aggregate

Juventus players celebrate qualifying for the semi-final of the Champions League at Monaco's expense last night
Juventus players celebrate qualifying for the semi-final of the Champions League at Monaco's expense last night
Monaco's Joao Moutinho tackles Juventus' Carlos Tevez during their quarter-final second leg Champions League match at the Louis II stadium last night
Juventus' Arturo Vidal challenges Monaco's Aymen Bernardo Silva

Juventus moved into the last four of the Champions League for the first time in 12 years after playing out a goalless draw with Monaco.

Juve went into the clash with a 1-0 aggregate lead and the Italian giants held onto that lead to book their place in the last-four draw along with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Monaco took the game to their visitors in the early stages, with Geoffrey Kondogbia coming close on a number of occasions in a first half dominated by Leonardo Jardim's men.

Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini was booked in the opening minute when he handled the ball to prevent Joao Moutinho from breaking forward, after the Italy international had slipped in the middle of his own half.

The game's first meaningful chance came in the fifth minute when Monaco midfielder Kondogbia lashed wide of Gianluigi Buffon's net from 25 yards.

Andrea Barzagli came close to turning the ball into the back of his own net in the 15th minute after playmaker Bernardo Silva sent a dangerous cross in from the right of the box, with the Juve defender prodding narrowly wide of Buffon's near post from close range.

Juventus grew into the game as the half wore on and breached Monaco's defence in the dying stages of the first period but Carlos Tevez could not capitalise, sending his shot just wide from around 25 yards out.

Monaco almost broke the deadlock in the 50th minute when Moutinho's cross from the left caused chaos in the visitors' box, with Buffon failing in his bid to punch the ball to safety - but Patrice Evra was on hand to clear the danger on the line.

The hosts came close again five minutes later when a mix-up in Juve's defence saw the ball fall kindly for substitute Dimitar Berbatov just inside the area but Buffon came out quickly to thwart him.

Irish Independent

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