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Juventus Take Massive Step Towards Final Berth




It was a classic tale of experience versus youth as the old lady of Turin as Juventus is fondly called visited Stade Louis II home ground of Monaco.

Free scoring Monaco responsible for the elimination of English team Manchester city and German power house Dortmund in previous rounds had scored 28 goals before this fixture and were yet to lose a match at home since December 2016, came up against the team with the meanest defense in the whole of Europe in Juventus. Up until this tie Juve had kept 5 consecutive clean sheet with goal-keeper Buffon playing in his 100th champions league match for a single team

Early on Monaco started the brighter of the two teams with 18-year-old striker Mbappe coming close, the first of two chances was a straight header at Juventus safe pair of hands Buffon, few moments on and he had to thwart yet another chance this time a volley from close range from the teenager.

Monaco had scored 11 goals in the knock-out stage alone and were looking full of life as they ran rings around Juventus defense, another chance fell to Rademel Falcao who wasted a glorious chance to put Monaco in front, Gamil Glik also missed a chance of his own.

However against the run of play it was Juventus who went ahead for a well worked team goal in the 29th minute through striker Gonzalo Higuian. the move started all the way from keeper Buffon, and ended with Pablo Dybala and former Barcelona defender combining well to provide assist for Gonzalo Higuian to open the lead.

Monaco were stunned, Juventus youngster Dybala had a well struck free kick stopped by Subasic before the half time break. On resumption of the second half, Monaco should have equalized but for Falcao’s tame effort after he was set up by Bernardo Silva.

Juventus missed a chance of their own when Marchisio coming in to replace the suspended Khedira capitalised on a loose ball only to be thwarted by the legs of Monaco keeper.

Juventus eventually doubled their lead and Gonzalo Higuian having a good night completed his brace just before the hour mark, Alves once again provided the assist after good work from Dybala for a finish from six yards out. Higuian however could not complete his hat-trick as he was withdrawn in the 77th minute to be replaced by Juan Cuardrado.

The brace took Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuian’s tally to 5 in the champions league this season, his best ever scoring tally in the competition, which also ended a 7 game scoring drought in the competition. Higuian did not rake all the accolades as it was the first time in  the career of former Barcelona defender Dani Alves provided two assists in a single match.

The scoreline means Juventus head to turin for the second leg with a two goals advantage over Monaco. Monaco proved in previous knock-out rounds they can hold their own against the best in Europe, 90 minutes seperate them from a major come back that will shock the world, the likelihood of this happening remains to be seen.

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