AS Monaco FC 0-0 Juventus (agg: 0-1)
The Turin giants are through to the last four for the first time in 12 years, but only after a stern examination from Monaco.
Article top media content
• The Italian side successfully defend their narrow first-leg victory
• One of only 12 1-0 aggregate wins in 220 knockout ties in the competition
• Bianconeri reach last four for the first time since finishing runners-up in 2003
• Exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from Monaco and Madrid
• The semi-final draw takes place in Nyon from 12.00CET on Friday
Juventus held off a concerted effort from a youthful AS Monaco FC side to book their place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2003.
For over an hour it was the spirit of Monaco's famous victory over Real Madrid CF 11 years ago that echoed around the hillsides that shield the principality. But the home team were never quite able to find a way through as the Bianconeri, summoning a familiar defensive stoicism of their own, defended their 1-0 quarter-final first-leg advantage with few genuine alarms.
The tone for a fraught second instalment was quickly established at the Stade Louis II. Monaco showed great endeavour, driving forward with vim and vigour, utilising the flanks and keeping the ball on the ground. Juve soaked it up, sometimes with ease, on other occasions rather more desperately; then they looked to kill the tie off on the counterattack with long passes over the top.
It made for a fascinating game of cat and mouse. Geoffrey Kondogbia occasionally burrowed holes in the middle, working room to test Gianluigi Buffon, yet it was out wide that the Ligue 1 outfit carried the biggest threat. On-song Bernardo Silva was at the heart of it, and it required a fortuitous intervention from Andrea Barzagli to cut out his cross on 15 minutes following a lovely move involving four players cramped for space on the right.
Monaco continued to boss territory and possession though the chances dried up before the interval – never mind, at the 45-minute mark in 2004 Les Rouges et Blancs had trailed Madrid 5-2 on aggregate. Leonardo Jardim opted for an attacking switch at half-time, bringing on Dimitar Berbatov. The coach spoke of "calculated risks" before the match and seemed to have done his sums correctly here.
His charges were immediately back on top, and it needed the cool wise head of Patrice Evra to clear when Buffon came and missed a João Moutinho cross. Evra, a Monaco hero 11 years ago, was by now playing deep, the starting back three becoming a back five; almost a back eight at times. The hosts tired, though, and the last 20 minutes came and went without undue panic for Massimiliano Allegri's men.
Andrea Pirlo almost grabbed a win, in fact, with a vicious late effort that rattled the crossbar. No matter, Juventus's wait was soon over.