Juventus hold MNACO for semis birth
Juventus grounded out a 0-0 draw with Monaco to secure a 1-0 win on aggregate and become the first Italian team since Inter Milan in 2010 to qualify for the Champions League semifinal. With Spanish side Real Madrid beating Atletico Madrid 1-0 in Wednesday’s other quarter-final, the semi-finals now offer the mouth-watering prospect of four top teams that have all won European football’s premier club competition multiple times. Barcelona and Bayern Munich have already reached the last four.
Juventus, two-time champions, won’t be the strongest team in Friday’s semi-final draw. But the dogged defending Juventus deployed to blunt Monaco’s youthful attack showed it will be a challenge to break down. Midfielder Arturo Vidal’s first-leg penalty goal proved decisive in this quarter-final.
The return from a thigh injury of midfielder Paul Pogba will give Juventus plenty of attacking intent in the semis. Striker Carlos Tevez, a 2008 Champions League winner with English club Manchester United, also is a constant headache for opposing defenders. Stopped in the quarterfinal in 2013, 2006 and 2005, Juventus will play in the semis for the first time since 2003, when it was a losing finalist on penalties to fellow Italian club AC Milan. Juventus are also running away with fourth consecutive Serie A title and can complete a domestic double in Italian Cup final against Lazio on June 7.