Monaco beaten by Ju­ven­tus 1-0 in first leg of Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nal

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY DANIELLE MATAR

A con­tro­ver­sial penalty handed Ju­ven­tus a nar­row 1-0 win over Monaco in the first leg of their Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nal on Tues­day, leav­ing ev­ery­thing to play for in next week’s re­turn match in the prin­ci­pal­ity.

Ar­turo Vi­dal scored his first goal of this sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion in the 57th minute of an en­ter­tain­ing match af­ter Ri­cardo Carvalho was judged to have fouled Al­varo Mo­rata in the box.

“It’s a great injustice, the penalty was non-ex­is­tent and I hope that doesn’t have an in­flu­ence on the fi­nal re­sult of this tie,” Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said. “I thought we would get a bet­ter re­sult. But we showed that we are well or­ga­nized, that we are a good team and we cre­ated a lot of dif­fi­cul­ties for Juve.

“I like jus­tice and for me the rules and reg­u­la­tions should be the same for ev­ery­one in sport and in life. I’m dis­ap­pointed ... I am con­vinced the re­sult is due to a wrong de­ci­sion taken by the match of­fi­cials.”

Monaco had been de­nied a penalty of its own in the first half when An­thony Mar­tial tan­gled with Ju­ven­tus de­fender Gior­gio Chiellini.

Ju­ven­tus, which leads Serie A and is in the Ital­ian Cup fi­nal, re­mains on course for a tre­ble un­der new coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri.

“I haven’t seen (the penalty) again so I can’t judge,” Al­le­gri said. “It seemed to be a foul as a last man, how­ever from the bench I didn’t see if it was out­side or in­side.

“Peo­ple who want to en­joy them­selves can go to the cir­cus. We have one ob­jec­tive and that is get­ting through. I’m happy with the re­sult and the per­for­mance in parts, es­pe­cially how we man­aged to de­fend at the end with­out con­ced­ing.”

In the night’s other match, Real Madrid drew 0-0 at Atletico Madrid.

Ju­ven­tus was look­ing to pre­serve an im­pres­sive home record which had seen it lose just one of 16 Euro­pean matches at the Ju­ven­tus Sta­dium.

It was also boosted by An­drea Pirlo’s re­turn from in­jury af­ter a three-week ab­sence and the play­maker set up the first chance of the match with a de­light­ful ball over the top which Mo­rata volleyed over — although the line­se­man’s flag was up for off­side.

Car­los Tevez went close to scor­ing the opener in the sev­enth minute but Monaco goal­keeper Dani­jel Suba­sic dived smartly to his right to deny the Ital­ian league’s lead­ing goalscorer.

Monaco ap­peared con­tent to sit back and hit Ju­ven­tus on the counter and it should have taken the lead in the 10th minute. Mar­tial’s pace took him past Leonardo Bonucci on the left flank and he picked out an un­marked Yan­nick Fer­reira-Car­rasco, only for the mid­fielder to fire straight at Gianluigi Buf­fon.

The Italy keeper was called into ac­tion again mo­ments later to fin­ger­tip Fer­reira- Car­rasco’s de­flected ef­fort around the left post.

Juve be­gan to up the in­ten­sity again af­ter a spell of Monaco pres­sure and Tevez wasted a golden op­por­tu­nity when Clau­dio Marchi­sio found him un­marked with a de­light­ful cross but the Ar­gen­tine’s weak ef­fort went straight to Suba­sic.

Vi­dal also wasted good chances, in­clud­ing right on the stroke of half­time when he beat the off­side trap to go through one-on-one but blasted over from close range.

Ju­ven­tus fi­nally broke the dead­lock af­ter Mo­rata beat the off­side trap but was brought down by Carvalho. The foul ap­peared to be out­side the area and Monaco again protested in vain.

Vi­dal, who had missed two penal­ties this sea­son, calmly fired it into the top left cor­ner.

Monaco’s Dim­i­tar Ber­ba­tov came off the bench and al­most had an in­stant im­pact but headed nar­rowly over with his first touch.

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