Monaco meets its match in Buffon

Juventus got two goals from Gonzalo Higuain, two great assists from right back Dani Alves and outstanding defensive performances from Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and surprise starter Andrea Barzagli in a three-man backline.

Monaco-Juventus: Highlights

But you have to give a sentimental nod to Gianluigi Buffon on a night he shut out high-scoring Monaco, 2-0, in his 100th Champions League appearance for Juve and gave the Italian champion a huge advantage in the UEFA Champions League semifinal series.

Buffon has now gone 621 minutes without conceding a goal in the Champions League -- including shutouts in both quarterfinal legs against Barcelona -- prompting Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri to call his 39-year-old keeper the best in the world.

"Gigi Buffon's top performance almost goes without saying when it comes to these big matches," Allegri told the Juventus website. "Gigi is the best goalkeeper in the world and he has shown that in this game. The best players step up to the plate on nights like this.

"Monaco are a good side, a technically gifted side, but we started well. It was beginning to look easy, but we made a few mistakes and Gigi produced a great save at 0-0. They created a couple of good chances after we took the lead, but Gigi was there to save again so there is plenty to be happy about."

Kylian Mbappe's header was stopped by Buffon with a low save early in the game, and Buffon preserved the shutout by tipping sub Valere Germain's header over the crossbar.

"Juventus started well, but after 10 to 15 minutes," said Monaco's Portuguese coach, Leonardo Jardim. "We evened up things. We had a little bit more possession, some crosses and play in the final 30 meters. But I think being clinical made the difference. From three situations, Juventus scored two goals, and we scored none from our three. There were some good saves from Gianlugi Buffon. Our lack of a cutting edge was in large part due to his work in goal: He pulled off two or three incredible saves."

1 comment about "Monaco meets its match in Buffon".
  1. beautiful game, May 4, 2017 at 6:53 p.m.

    Juve is not a dynamic team, but it's a squad of talented players on both sides of the ball. It's technical, efficient, and plays within the system of simplicity in movement and tempo. As for Buffon, he has the personality of total control which spills over to his defense.

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