Buffon was the difference, says Jardim

Massimiliano Allegri insists Monaco will come to Juventus with "nothing to lose" after his side's 2-0 win at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday. Higuain set himself up for the opener, slowing down a counter-attacking raid just long enough to allow Alves to occupy Kamil Glik, with the Polish defender baffled as his opponent backheeled a one-two assist for the Argentinian.

The 18-year-old, reportedly the subject of a big-money approach from Manchester United, dragged the well-drilled Juve defence out of line to smash a hard volley against Gianluigi Buffon's fists.

The Italians have equaled the best defensive record in Champions League history in reaching the last-four this year, conceding only two goals while shutting out Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez over two legs.

The victor plays either Real Madrid or city rival Atletico, with Real heading into the return leg at Atletico with a 3-0 cushion thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick on Tuesday.

"Andrea was vast while Dani (Alves) and Gonzalo (Higuain) did brilliantly to create the goals".

"This could become an extraordinary season for us", Allegri said of his team's bid for a title treble.

He told UEFA after Wednesday's 2-0 victory: "In every game I want to show that I deserve to play at this level despite my age". "He is always decisive in the big games".

A youthful Monaco team had breezed through the tournament with free-scoring performances but they met their match on home soil against the experienced and ruthless Serie A champions.

But the visitors did double their lead just before the hour mark, with Higuain striking again. Mbappe has a long - and hopefully bright - future but following Monaco's 2-0 first-leg defeat it looks like he will not become a Champions League victor this year. "The day I quit, I want people to be sad about it", said Buffon, twice a beaten Champions League finalist.

Juventus could win the Scudetto this weekend should they take the points against Torino and Roma slip up against Milan.

The Bianconeri captain made another series of stunning saves the Champions League semi-final win in Monaco, extending his clean sheet in the tournament to 621 minutes of football. Our lack of goals is because of him.

Again Alves was the provider, the Brazilian lofting a ball forward after Tiemoue Bakayoko lost possession under pressure from Dybala.

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim, like his counterpart Allegri, made sure to praise 39-year-old goalkeeper Buffon, who rolled back the years to frustrate teenage talent Kylian Mbappe.

  • Julie Sanders