Argentina international Gonzalo Higuain shone by scoring two away-goals after two brilliant assists by Daniel Alves in Juventus’ victory at Stade de Louis II. They have a huge advantage of reaching the Final of the 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League in Cardiff.
AS Monaco’s Portuguese head coach Leonardo Jardim decided to start with Danijel Subasic as goalkeeper. Kylian Mbappe and captain Radamael Falcao made up AS Monaco’s attacking front. No major changes to the starting eleven were made by Leonardo Jardim.
AS Monaco | S-XI: Subasic (GK), Glik, Jemerson, Sidibé, Dirar, Bakayoko, Fabinho, Silva, Lemar, Mbappé, Falcao (C). Substitutes: De Sanctis (GK), Jorge, Raggi, Touré, Moutinho, Cardona, Germain.
Juventus’ boss Massimiliano Allegri was forced to make a change as Sami Khedira was serving a suspension, who was replaced by Bosnia and Herzegovina international Miralem Pjanic. The rest of the starting eleven remaind unchanged.
Juventus | S-XI: Buffon (GK)(C), Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Pjanic, Marchisio, Dani Alves, Dybala, Mandzukic, Higuain. Substitutes: Neto (GK), Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Asamoah, Lemina, Rincon, Cuadrado.
Italian champions Juventus opened the first half very strong, putting pressure on the hosts’ goal. AS Monaco were heavily pushed back and had difficult to start an attack. As the match progressed, AS Monaco grew into the match and starting to pass around the ball with good fluency. Nevertheless, the first best chance of the first half belonged to AS Monaco. Nabil Dirar put in a cross in to the Juventus’ penalty box, which found Kylian Mbappe Lottin who had a great chance to score but it was saved by Gianluigi Buffon in the 16th minute. Former FC Barcelona right-back Daniel Alves made a great backheel pass that found Gonzalo Higuain scored the opening goal in the 29th minute. The first half ended AS Monaco 0, Juventus 1.
AS Monaco started the second half much better than the first half. They started to challenge the defensively solid and disciplined Juventus. Testing Gianluigi Buffon several times with goalscoring chances but failed to score. Brazil international Daniel Alves put a cross inside the AS Monaco’s penalty box, which found Gonzalo Higuain who scored his second goal of the night in the 59th minute. AS Monaco tried and worked hard to score at least consolation goal but failed to do so. The second half and the match ended AS Monaco 0, Juventus 2.
It was an exciting and entertaining match when Italian champions Juventus convincingly defeated AS Monaco in their own backyard. Juventus have a huge advantage to reach the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final in Cardiff with two away-goals. Juventus dominated the possession of the ball and were defensively very compact and disciplined, being effective in their attacks and counterattacks.
AS Monaco dominated the possession of the ball more towards the end of the match and created several goalscoring chances. However, AS Monaco did lack precision in front of the Juventus’ goal but Gianluigi Buffon made also some world-class saves.
The second leg between AS Monaco and Juventus is scheduled for Tuesday May 9, 2017 at 20:45 CET in Turin, Italy.
AS Monaco: Subasic – 4/5, Glik – 3/5, Jemerson – 3/5, Sidibé – 3/5, Dirar – 3/5, Bakayoko – 3/5, Fabinho – 3/5, Silva – 3/5, Lemar – 3.5/5, Mbappé – 4.5/5, Falcao -3.5/5. | Substitutes: Moutinho – 3/5, Germain – 3/5, Touré – 3/5.
Juventus: Buffon – 4.5/5, Barzagli – 4/5, Bonucci – 3.5/5, Chiellini – 3.5/5, Alex Sandro – 3.5/5, Pjanic – 3.5/5, Marchisio 3.5/5, Dani Alves – 4/5, Dybala – 3.5/5, Mandzukic – 3.5/5, Higuain – 5/5. | Substitutes: Cuadrado – 3/5, Rincon – 3/5, Lemina – 3/5.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus)