Juve maintain their advantage


Published: Wednesday 22nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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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 in the second leg of their quarter-final tie.

Juve went into the clash with a 1-0 aggregate lead after tasting victory against the principality club in the first leg and t he 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.

The hosts enjoyed most of the possession in the second period but could not find a way past a resolute Juventus defence.

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 hosts were unable to trouble Juventus shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon with the resulting free-kick – but it was not long before they were on the attack again.

The game’s first meaningful chance came in the fifth minute when Monaco midfielder Kondogbia lashed wide of 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.

The home side continued to force the issue, with Kondogbia stinging Buffon’s palms from the edge of the box in the 20th minute.

Kondogbia then went down in the box after clashing with Arturo Vidal and Chiellini in the 36th minute, but referee Willie Collum waved play on.

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.

The half-time whistle came at the wrong time for Juventus, with the visitors unable to build on their late spell of first-half pressure in the second period.

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.

Bernardo dragged his first-time shot wide from the very edge of the penalty area in the 62nd minute as Monaco continued to throw everything at Juventus.

Andrea Pirlo could have scored a late winner for Massimiliano Allegri’s side in the 90th minute when he sent a thumping free-kick towards goal from 30 yards – but his effort clipped the woodwork.

Published: Wednesday 22nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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