Scoreless draw enough for Juventus to make Champions League semis
MONACO (AP) — Juventus ground out a 0-0 draw with Monaco on Wednesday to secure a 1-0 win on aggregate and become the first Italian team since Inter won the competition in 2010 to qualify for the Champions League semifinals.
Arturo Vidal's penalty goal in the first leg of their quarterfinal in Italy proved decisive.
The two-time European champion, stopped in the quarterfinals in 2013, 2006, 2005, will play in the semis for the first time since 2003, when Juventus was a losing finalist on penalties to AC Milan.
With Real Madrid beating Atletico 1-0 in Wednesday's other quarter-final, the semifinals now offer the mouthwatering prospect of four top teams that have all won European football's premier club competition multiple times. Barcelona and Bayern Munich round out the last four.
Against a Monaco team packed with speed and youth, the experience of Juventus' veterans quickly told. With 198 Champions League appearances between them, midfielder Andrea Pirlo and left-back Patrice Evra had played 30 matches more at this level than the entire Monaco starting 11.
Pirlo, a Champions League winner with AC Milan in 2003, came closest to breaking the stalemate in Monaco's Louis II stadium with an artful free-kick late in the second half that shaved paint off Danijel Subasic's posts.
Needing a goal to erase Juventus' slender first-leg advantage, Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim left the experience of former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov on the bench until halftime, when he reshuffled his deck, taking off deep-lying midfielder Jeremy Toulalan.
With Berbatov weighing on the Juventus defense, the effect was immediate. Monaco created far more work for Juventus in a second-half of sustained pressure. But last season's French league runner-up has struggled to score at home this season and this match proved no different.