Champions League

Juventus Put One Foot In Final Behind Higuain Brace

MONACO - MAY 03: Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus celebrates with team mates after scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between AS Monaco v Juventus at Stade Louis II on May 3, 2017 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Juventus Put One Foot In Final Behind Higuain Brace

Juventus will take an extremely healthy lead into the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi final after a fine 2-0 win away at AS Monaco.

It was Gonzalo Higuain at the double that gave the Old Lady the spoils in the south of France and his team were far superior on the night.

The stand out performer was Dani Alves who put in a simply fantastic showing down the right hand side of an organised 3-5-2 shape just three days shy of his 34th birthday.

Sidibe was given a torrid time by the Brazilian veteran and it was a free-flowing move down the right which included a gorgeous back-heel inside from Paulo Dybala before the marauding Alves played the second back-heeled pass of the move before Higuain finished smartly on 28 minutes.

Gianluigi Buffon kept 18-year-old hotshot Kylian Mbappé at bay twice inside the space of five minutes with two reaction stops and tipped a Radamel Falcao header around the post just moments later.

Colombian Falcao had a magnificent chance to level the scores just seconds into the second half but scuffed his shot right into the dive of the 39-year-old stopper.

As the game opened up with the hosts chasing an equaliser, Claudio Marchisio raced through on goal through the vacated spaces but saw his effort saved by the foot of Danijel Subašic in goal on 53 minutes, and the deep-lying Italian work-horse had his name taken down and was shown the yellow card on 58 minutes for a cynical trip on Fabinho.

The ball was in the back of the Monaco net for the second time just 60 seconds later and it was the same combination that led to the opener.

Dani Alves broked free down the right on a counter and his millimetre perfect cross saw Gonzalo Higuain finish with a far post volley on the stretch to give the Italian champions an indespensible second away goal to take back to Turin next Tuesday night.

Buffon tipped over from Polish defender Kamil Glik late on and although Monaco had chances on the night, Massimiliano Allegri’s men looked far superior with more tactical nous than their energetic counterparts.

Leonardo Jardim will be desperate to get back into the game inside the opening 20 minutes in next week’s second leg and the French league leaders will be vulnerable to counter attacks from the lethal Italians all night long.

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Champions League
@alexclapham

An Englishman that is a coach and analyst within the youth academy of a Spanish club whilst studying Sports Coaching. Obsessive over the tactical concepts of the European game, Alex regularly attends games in the La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A.

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