Juventus secured simple passage to their second Champions League final in three years as a 2-1 win over Monaco secured a 4-1 aggregate win.
Dani Alves orchestrated another brilliant Juventus performance in this season’s Champions League as a 2-1 win over Monaco on home turf secured a 4-1 aggregate triumph and a place in the final.
Juventus’ half-decade dominance of Serie A is yet to translate into success on the continental stage, but the Bianconeri have never looked better placed to win a third European crown than Massimiliano Allegri’s current crop do.
Along with Sami Khedira and Mario Mandzukic, Alves is one of just three players in this squad to have won the big trophy and the Brazilian followed up two assists at Stade Louis II with another star turn, helping Mandzukic to the nerve-settling opener before blasting in before the break to allow 45 minutes of joyous celebrating and frantic seeking of hostelries in Cardiff.
Kylian Mbappe’s zip and zeal was rewarded with a second-half goal that rounds off a stunning debut season for the 18-year-old.
Though Monaco’s brilliant babes will not share a European crown before they are sold off to the highest bidder, they are tantalisingly close to the Ligue 1 crown, and surely the likes of Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and Mbappe will have greater tales to tell in this competition over the next decade.
But those prodigies and their wise old figurehead Radamel Falcao barely laid a glove on Juve over two legs and the determined, drilled – and occasionally dastardly – trio of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini will relish a showpiece battles of ‘BBC’ line-ups, with Real Madrid – of Bale, Benzema and Cristiano , who are 3-0 up on neighbours Atletico in the other semi-final.
The Juve defence is still to be breached from open play in this season’s competition and, having played the underdog to Barcelona two years ago, Allegri’s stronger, slicker side may well head to the Welsh capital as favourites this time around