With the champions League quarterfinals underway, Juventus took an early lead in the race, as they win the first leg of their match against Monaco 1-0.
The Juves mounted an early chase for the goal from the first half of the game. However, it took them some time before Arturo Vidal managed to sink in a penalty shot in the 57th minute of the match after getting past Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho.
Argentinean striker Carlos Tevez also played a big role in Juventus’ offensive, despite not being able to score a goal. The 31-year old forward gave Monaco several scares, with him managing to come close to the net in two attempts. However, to their credit, the Red and Whites’ Aymen Abdennour and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic were able to thwart his attempts.
For their part, Monaco got their closest attempt at a goal with winger Yannick Carrasco’s shot, which caught the Juves’ goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. However, Buffon was quick to recover, preventing the shot from converting.
Monaco also kept Juventus at bay with their own impressive defence. They also mounted an offensive at the start of the second half, with midfielder Bernardo Silva getting close to the box and pressuring Buffon.
Even with the small margin that they got out of the match, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said that he was very happy with the outcome. “Overall I think the result is deserved,” the Juves’ boss said in a interview.
“Obviously, it’s a quarterfinal, so anyone who thought we’d win 3-0 was kidding themselves. They have the strongest defence in the Champions League and Ligue 1.”
He also acknowledged the good game that Monaco put up against them. “Monaco know their limitations and therefore play to stop the opposition playing,” the manager remarked. “It means waiting a little longer and making an extra five or six passes to find the right breakthrough.”
Allegri also stressed that they will do better in the second leg of the match. “I am always optimistic, but we know that we need to score in Monaco to go forward. This is a tough side to play against and paradoxically it was easier against Borussia Dortmund because of their style of football.”
The two teams are set to meet again on the 22nd, this time in Monaco’s home turf.