Champions League: Juve's road to final

Juventus was the standout name in Group H that comprised of Sevilla, Olympique Lyonnais and Dinamo Zagreb. Like Madrid, the Italians started off slow with a goalless draw at home to Sevilla. However, they breezed through the group as table toppers with 14 points (4 wins, 2 draws), with their biggest win coming away at Zagreb; a 4-0 thrashing. Incidentally, Juventus’ two draws came at home, the second draw was the 1-1 result against Lyon. Photo: Getty Images
Buffon and Co. were handed a pre-quarterfinal draw against Portuguese side FC Porto. They didn’t have much difficulty as second-half strikes from Dani Alves and Pjaca gave them a 2-0 first-leg advantage in Portugal. With a miserly defence, having only conceded twice in the group stage, Juventus was never giving up the 2-0 cushion, especially at home. Paulo Dybala put the icing on the cake with a first-half penalty as Juventus ran out 1-0 winners on the night and 3-0 on aggregate to set up a mammoth clash in the quarterfinal. Photo: Reuters
Despite its great form, Juventus entered the quarters as obvious underdogs as it hosted Barcelona in the first leg. However, the script played out completely differently as Dybala scored twice within the first 22 minutes and Giorgio Chiellini tripled the advantage as Juve blew away Luis Enrique’s men at Turin. With its back against the wall, Barcelona came out all guns blazing in front of its hostile fans at Camp Nou as it chased a three-goal deficit. It bombarded Buffon’s goal with chance after chance but the veteran Italian kept a clean sheet as the game ended goalless. Juve set up a semifinal date against the exciting Monaco with this 3-0 aggregate win against the tournament’s favourite. Photo: AP
This was billed as Monaco’s attack versus Juventus’ defence. With Falcao and Kylian Mbappe leading the line for the French, there was a sense of positivity for the home side despite facing the daunting Juventus. However, Higuain gave the travelling supporters much joy as he punished the inexperienced Monaco side with a brace that sunk the Municipality side to a 2-0n home loss. In the second leg at Turin, Juventus put the tie beyond doubt after Mario Mandzukic and Dani Alves scored to give them a 4-0 aggregate lead after the first half. Mbappe tried to make a game of it when he pulled one back in the 69th minute. However, it was too big a mountain for Monaco to climb as Juventus progressed to its second final in three years. Photo: AP