AS Monaco have a mountain to climb against Juventus

Jardim’s side will need to make history to reach Cardiff final

Kylian Mbappe will shoulder Monaco’s hopes of overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit in Turin. Photograph: Valery Hach/AFP

Kylian Mbappe will shoulder Monaco’s hopes of overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit in Turin. Photograph: Valery Hach/AFP

 

Juventus (2) v AS Monaco (0) Juventus Stadium, 7.45pm (Live on TV3 and BT Sport 2)

AS Monaco, beaten 2-0 at home in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Juventus, will have to make history in Tuesday’s return if they are to end Ligue 1’s long absence from the final.

Only two teams have ever won a knockout tie in the competition after losing at home in the first leg and in both cases – Ajax Amsterdam against Panathinaikos in 1996 and Inter Milan against Bayern Munich in 2011 - they had only one goal to make up.

Monaco, who themselves were the last French side to reach the final when they lost to Jose Mourinho’s Porto in 2004, would also have to end Juve’s four-year unbeaten home record in Europe and a run of six successive clean sheets in the competition.

Monaco have never won a game in Italy in seven attempts while Juve’s record against French teams will not give them much encouragement either - the Italians have won all previous 11 knockout ties against Ligue 1 opponents including Monaco themselves on two occasions.

Both teams lead their own leagues and are on the brink of winning their respective titles while Juventus have also reached the Italian Cup final, putting them on course for a treble.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, whose side won 3-0 at Nancy on Saturday to close in on the Ligue 1 title, said that an early goal could change the complexion of the tie.

“We have to stay confident, try to play our game and put on a good performance and if we score at the start of the game, maybe that could change things,” said Jardim.

If there is one thing which gives Jardim hope, it is Monaco’s prolific scoring record this season.

They have blasted 139 goals in 55 matches in all competitions, not including the French League Cup, and have managed three or more goals in a match on 25 occasions.

Kylian Mbappe, 18 and one of the hottest properties in European football, has scored 18 goals in his last 20 competitive games, while the team features other dangerous players including resurgent Colombian forward Radamel Falcao.

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala limped off during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Torino, which ended his side’s run of 33 consecutive home league wins, but coach Massimiliano Allegri said it was just a case of cramp.

“It was normal in the circumstances and towards the end of the season,” said Allegri, who warned his team not to think about any another result than a win.

“Monaco are a side with great talent and we have absolutely not yet sealed our qualification. We need to win the second leg.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.