Juventus secured the first ticket to the Champions League final in Cardiff after beating Monaco 2-1 in the second leg of their semi-final match at Juventus Stadium.
The Italians took the lead in just 33 minutes as Mario Mandzukic slotted home the rebound from his header.
Juve then doubled the advantage a minute before the first half expired when Dani Alves volleyed home Danijel Subasic’s poor clearance.
Kylian Mbappe tried to ignite a comeback for the visiting side but his lone goal in the 69th minute was a little too late as Juventus ended the two legs with a 4-1 aggregate win.
“I am glad for the lads, they reached the final,” said Juventus boss Max Allegri, who also said they cannot step off the gas and get back to work if they hope to win the final this season. “But from tomorrow we have to focus because we haven’t won anything.”
The Italian giants will face the winners of the other semi-final match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Real, Champions League winners in 2014 and 2016, lead after one leg 3-0.
THIRST FOR GLORY
For a club who are looking for their sixth straight Serie A title, Juventus sure seemed discontented and sound bent on bringing home some European glory.
They have not won the Champions League since 1996, and they got thrashed 3-1 by Barcelona when they made it to the ultimate stage in Berlin in 2015.
Juve’s 39-year-old Gianluigi Buffon said he “assumed” that the Berlin final was his “last Champions League final”, so he will not take this second chance for Juve to become Europe’s top club too lightly.
“We are in the final, but now reaching the final counts for nothing,” said the long-time club captain, whose opinions reverberate amongst his team, even to the boss.
“Gigi is right, we are in the final and must try to win it,” said Allegri. “Hopefully this is the right year. I think Juventus have a very good chance of winning.”
BRING THE A GAME
Defender Leonardo Bonucci said Juve are yet to play their best game, and they rued they even let Monaco score one goal at their own fortress.
‘The goal we conceded today was really annoying,” said the 30-year-old defender. “We cannot concede like that when distracted. It had been in the air for about 10 minutes, we were letting them run past us.”
“We have to improve and learn from that,” added Bonucci. “The important thing is that Juventus go to the final in Cardiff and are confident we can take the trophy home.
“We have to go to Cardiff and play the best game in the history of Juventus.”