Jardim: 'Monaco must attack Juventus without fear'

Monaco's Leonardo Jardim says he is proud of his players regardless of what happens in their Champions League semi-final against Juventus.

Monaco head coach Leonardo Jardim   -  Getty Images

Monaco has to attack without fearing the threat Juventus poses on the counter in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal, says coach Leonardo Jardim.

Gonzalo Higuain's brace at the Stade Louis II last week means Juve is in control of the tie, while Gianluigi Buffon has kept six clean sheets in a row in the Champions League, leaving the odds firmly against Monaco.

But Jardim - whose side is on track to win Ligue 1 — said Monaco has to put the first-leg result behind it as it prepares for the return fixture in Turin on Tuesday.

"We will have to attack with our minds free of bad thoughts," Jardim told reporters. "In the first leg we had the same number of shots on goal as Juve, but they were more clinical. 

"Obviously they are more mature than we are but we lost because we didn't make the most of our chances. Tomorrow we want to keep our dream alive: our objective is to reach the final. 

"I'm very proud of my players and what they have done so far, regardless of Tuesday's result."

Jardim hinted at his selection plans for the second leg, with a shift in tactics likely to deal with the attacking threat of Dani Alves, who provided assists for both of Higuain's goals in the opening match.

"Juventus gave us a lot of problems in the first leg so we will have to change something for sure," Jardim added. "Alves especially was very good but it's normal because he is a great player who is used to playing in this kind of game. 

"Juve in general are a great team so we will have to be at our very best if we want to beat them. We are expecting great things from [Radamel] Falcao but [Benjamin] Mendy is not 100 per cent at the moment; it would be a risk to field him."

Despite Juve looking likely to book a final clash against Real Madrid - which leads Atletico Madrid 3-0 after their own first leg - Monaco right-back Djibril Sidibe said his side thinks it can overturn the two-goal deficit.

"We still believe we can qualify," Sidibe told reporters. "We might have lost the first leg but we are ready to play a great game. Buffon is a great goalkeeper, he is always very focused and made two great saves in the first leg.

"We have had a great season so far and tomorrow we will give our best to win. We were disappointed with the result of the first leg but we are still full of enthusiasm. We have many young players but we're very talented. The main objective is to end the game with no regrets.

"We are looking forward to playing here in this stadium; there will be a great atmosphere. We have proved that we can score plenty of goals this season so we still believe we can do it, we still have a chance. We are ready to play a great game against a very strong side in Juventus."

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos