Last week saw Monaco host Italian giants Juventus at the Stade Louis II, as they looked to secure their place in the Champions League final for the first time since the 2003/04 season.
Their run to the semi-finals has been astonishing, as they toppled the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund to get there. Yet, overcoming Juventus appears to be one ask too many, as they suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first leg which has left them on the verge of exit from the tournament.
Yet, with a second game still to play, Monaco aren’t out yet. It was be a huge task, but the club have surprised us already this season, coming from two goals behind to beat Premier League heavyweights Manchester City, and could do so again this week.
The two sides will meet at the Juventus Stadium on Tuesday, 9th May, with kick-off set for 7:45pm BST. Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri got the better of Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim in the first leg, putting out a team that helped to nullify Monaco’s attacking threat. Yet, despite the lead, it would be unwise for Juventus to assume that the job is done.
The way things stand, two goals from Monaco within the 90 minutes of normal play would take the tie to extra-time. Yet, they will have to score at least three goals on the night in order to make it through to the final. Should Juventus score more than once, that task would become considerably harder.
Yet, given the firepower at Monaco’s disposal, they have every chance of clinching the goals that they need. Between them, Monaco’s front two of Kylian Mbappé and Radamel Falcao have 52 goals and 17 assists so far this season. As one of Europe’s most lethal attacking sides, Monaco certainly aren’t out of the tie yet.
A hugely reliable backline of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini were able to keep Mbappé and Falcao at bay last time out, but with the pressure on, Monaco are likely to redouble their attacking desire on Tuesday.
Yet, Juventus proved that they are capable of riding out an onslaught in the second leg of their quarter-final clash with Barcelona. After producing a 3-0 victory in the first leg, they were able to grind out a 0-0 draw the following week against Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. They will likely adopt a similar approach against Monaco are will be confident that they can confirm their place in the final for the second time in three years.
It’s certainly an interesting match up, – the experienced judgement of Juventus versus the youthful determination of Monaco – but a phenomenal performance in the first leg puts the Italians in the prime position to see this one through.