CL: Juve squeeze past Monaco

by | Apr 14, 2015 21:42

A contentious Arturo Vidal penalty gave Juventus the 1-0 Champions League quarter-final victory over Monaco.

The decider will be in the Principality on April 22, where ASM have won only twice in the competition this season.

A contentious Arturo Vidal penalty gave Juventus the 1-0 Champions League quarter-final victory over Monaco.

The decider will be in the Principality on April 22, where ASM have won only twice in the competition this season.

The Bianconeri were the favourites on paper in this first leg quarter-final, but fresh from a shock defeat to Serie A bottom club Parma and facing a Monaco side that eliminated Arsenal with a 3-1 win in London. They’d scored only seven goals in their eight games so far, but conceded fewer than any other club in the Champions League this season.

Andrea Pirlo made his first appearance in three weeks, but Paul Pogba was still sidelined and Andrea Barzagli only fit for the bench. The visitors missed Jeremy Toulalan and opted for Ricardo Carvalho and Anthony Martial rather than Wallace and Dimitar Berbatov.

Carlos Tevez’s snapshot bounced right in front of the goalkeeper, but Danijel Subasic did well to calculate the rebound, while Layvin Kurzawa blasted not far over the bar.

Gigi Buffon performed a crucial save on nine minutes when Martial burst past Leonardo Bonucci and rolled across for the unmarked Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco. Moments later Buffon palmed a deflected Carrasco effort round the base of the far post and Kurzawa’s free header was wide from a corner.

Tevez wasted a golden opportunity when Claudio Marchisio’s cross found him totally unmarked from seven yards, but he only aimed a weak volley into Subasic’s arms.

Aymen Abdennour was decisive to stop Alvaro Morata tapping in from close range, but Juve had 73 per cent possession in the first half-hour and did precious little with it. Giorgio Chiellini went shoulder-to-shoulder with Martial as they sprinted on to a long Moutinho pass, risking both a penalty and red card, then Patrice Evra ballooned a smart Pereyra assist over.

On the stroke of half-time Arturo Vidal sprung the offside trap and controlled well, only to curl his finish over the bar one-on-one.

Nabil Dirar went off with a knee injury and Tevez was unable to tap in a corner, then Monaco threatened on the counter with Buffon palming a Bernardo Silva shot round the near post.

However, Ricardo Carvalho clumsily ran into the back of Morata as they went for a long Pirlo ball, giving away the penalty. However, replays suggest the contact was slightly outside the box.

Vidal took on the responsibility despite some errors from the spot and converted into the near top corner, giving Juve the lead with his first Champions League goal of the campaign. The Chilean hadn’t found the net in this tournament since a hat-trick against FC Copenhagen in November 2013.

Buffon palmed a Geoffrey Kondogbia long-range strike over the bar and Morata hit the side-netting. Dimitar Berbatov came off the bench and his first touch was a free header over the bar from a corner.

Juve moved to a 3-5-2 in the final 15 minutes and Fabinho stopped Morata tapping in a Vidal cross from five yards. In stoppages Stephan Lichtsteiner passed a great opportunity straight into the arms of Subasic.

Juventus 1-0 Monaco

Scorers: Vidal pen 57 (J)

Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Vidal, Pirlo (Barzagli 74), Marchisio; Pereyra (Sturaro 87); Tevez, Morata (Matri 83)

Monaco: Subasic; Raggi (Berbatov 71), Ricardo Carvalho, Abdennour, Kurzawa; Fabinho, Kondogbia, Moutinho; Ferreira-Carrasco, Martial (Matheus 87), Dirar (Bernardo Silva 51)

Ref: Kralovec (CZE)

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