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Arturo Vidal on the spot to give Juventus the edge over Monaco in Champions League clash

Juventus 1-0 AS Monaco

Juventus are well-placed to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2003 after Arturo Vidal's penalty sealed a 1-0 first-leg victory over Monaco in Turin.

The Bianconeri last featured in the final four of the competition 12 years ago, beating Real Madrid to book a Manchester showdown with AC Milan which they lost after 120 goalless minutes and a penalty shoot-out.

Vidal provided a timely fillip from the spot this time around, however, converting in the 57th minute following a clumsy challenge from Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho.

The Serie A leaders travel to the principality next week having avoided shipping an away goal, despite the best efforts of Geoffrey Kondogbia towards the end of a one-sided evening at the Juventus Stadium.

Carlos Tevez twice went close to scoring in the opening minutes.

The visitors bit back through Yannick Carrasco, who tested Gianluigi Buffon with a devious shot from close range.

Monaco kept Juve at arm's length for much of the half but the Bianconeri did break through on occasion, Tevez going close again.

Monaco were first to threaten in the second half, Bernardo breaking into the box at the end of a swift raid before forcing a save out of Buffon with his left boot.

In the 57th minute, however, Juve were gifted an opportunity to score.

When Carvalho brought Alvaro Morata down in the area, Vidal stepped up to the mark and scored with a driven spot-kick.

Then, with Juve still celebrating, Kondogbia tried to surprise Buffon with a shot from distance but the veteran keeper flicked the ball out for a corner and the game ended without further goals.

Belfast Telegraph


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