Dani Alves set up and scored a goal to help Juventus beat Monaco 2-1 in the second leg of their semi-final clash in the Champions League. Juventus had already taken a 2-0 lead in the first leg in Monaco, and entered the final with a 4-1 aggregate.
Monaco were coming into the match trying to score three past a Juve side that hadn’t conceded once in the knockout stage of the Champions League. Their hopes were resting on Radamel Falcao and Kylian Mbappe to provide the firepower to their attack. Juventus, on the other hand, were prepared to experience a serious check on their defensive capabilities.
The French did seem set to produce another miracle in the competition, with Mbappe winning a corner within the first minute, and almost scoring the first goal within five minutes before being flagged offside.
Sami Khedira went off injured for the home side then, providing some nervy moments for Juventus. But they settled quickly, and showed why their home ground is a fortress. Gonzalo Higuain, Mario Mandzukic, and Miralem Pjanic went close as Juve piled on the pressure.
Monaco were also looking to score quickly, and that left them vulnerable on the counter. Once, such counter-attack saw Dani Alves’ near perfect cross sent into the back of the net by Mandzukic in the second attempt.
Ten minutes later, Alves himself put one into the goal. Monaco goalkeeper Subasic punched the ball out from a corner, only for the former Barcelona man to strike a fierce volley from outside the box. Alves’ strike ensured the Old Lady entered the break with a 4-0 aggregate. The Brazilian had also assisted the two goals in the first leg at Stade Louis II.
Monaco’s attack toiled against a disciplined Juventus defense, which has barely allowed a ball past Gianluigi Buffon this season. Teenage sensation Mbappe did put one past the Italian legend in the 69th minute, but it was too late for the Ligue 1 side to mount a comeback.
The Italian side ensured they reached the second Champions League final in three years without too many hiccups. They will now await the winner of the clash between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to know who their opponents will be in the title clash.
A win in the final will end a 22-year-long wait for the Italian side. That will cap off a memorable comeback for the team that was relegated to Serie B over a match-fixing scandal, came back into the top flight, and are on course for a sixth consecutive Serie A title. They had reached the final in 2015, but lost to Barcelona 3-1 in Berlin.
A Rahul Dravid, Liverpool, Rafael Nadal, and Badminton fan boy. Learnt most of life’s lessons on the field. Work also featured by SportsCafe, Essentially Sports and QuarkMe.