Juventus progress to Champions League final with 2-1 win over Monaco

Juventus win 2-1 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate to secure a Champions League final place for the second time in three years.

Juventus progress to Champions League final with 2-1 win over Monaco

Juventus are through to the Champions League final after beating Monaco 2-1 in Turin.

Monaco, who upset the odds in the quarterfinals to knock out Borussia Dortmund, were expected to provide Juventus with a stern test over two legs. The imperious Italians, however, had little trouble running up an aggregate 4-1 win against their French opponents.

Goals before half time in the self-named Juventus Stadium from Mario Mandzukic (33') and Danny Alves (44') saw the old lady well on their way to securing their 6th appearance in the final, and the second in the last three years.

Alves was again the man of the moment, providing an assist as well as a goal on the evening and proving that even at 34 he can still produce the goods when needed. After masterful performances against former club Barcelona in the quarter-finals which saw him mark countryman Neymar out of the game,  it was his attacking contributions that shone through against Monaco. Over the course of two legs and four goals, Alves scored one and assisted in three, further bringing into question just why the Spanish giants let him go last year.

Monaco, despite boasting a dynamic attacking style that has gotten the better of the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham and Manchester City in Europe and PSG in the French domestic league, had no answer for Juventus' notoriously miserly defence.

Rapidly rising star Kylian Mbappe scored a consolation goal for Monaco in the 69th minute to make the score 2-1 on the night, but it was too little, too late for the French outfit. It was the first goal scored against Juventus in the champions league for over 690 minutes, and will no doubt further fuel the already rife transfer speculation surrounding the teenager.

Despite not being enough to affect the outcome of the tie, the goal has however already become a soccer based meme mocking Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who has had a less than stellar record in recent years against the Juventus defence and keeper.

Dear Kylian Mbappe,

How did you score against Buffon and Juve's defense?

Your biggest fan,
Leo pic.twitter.com/8IuBv1qstD

— Soccer Memes (@SoccerMemes) 9 May 2017

The last time Juventus appeared in the final saw them lose 3-1 to Barcelona, and this time out they will also be up against Spanish opposition in the form of either Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid, last year's finalists. Real hold a 3-0 first-leg lead thanks to a stunning hat-trick from Ronaldo, and are expected to progress with relative ease.

Juventus do have a slight advantage over Real Madrid in the head to head records, with 9 wins to 8 from 19 contests, although Madrid will also be confident given that they are the reigning champions.

The Italians will also be especially keen to lift the trophy since they have failed to do so in their last two final appearances. Talismanic keeper Gianluigi Buffon, in particular, will still be feeling the sting of those defeats since he played in both, and this may well represent his last chance at the one trophy missing from his cabinet.

Buffon, speaking to UEFA recently said: "There's definitely a desire to make up for losing the [2015] final in Berlin, but I also have to make amends for Manchester in 2003, so going back through the years my motivation is a lot deeper,"

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