BY DICKSON AGBO
Juventus reached their second Champions League final in three seasons after a 2-1 win at home to Monaco yesterday, secured a 4-1 victory on aggregate.
Mario Mandzukic and Dani Alves were on target for Serie A champions Juventus, who were beaten in the Champions League final by Barcelona in 2014-15.
Juventus, who are now on a 23-match unbeaten run in Europe, will face either Real Madrid, who command a 3-0 first-leg lead, or Atletico Madrid in the final.
Monaco started the game brightly and Kylian Mbappe saw a smart first-time volley hit the inside of the post, although the linesman’s flag was raised for offside nonetheless.
The breakthrough came on 33 minutes when Alves curled in an inviting cross to the back post. Mandzukic’s initial header was saved but the striker made no mistake with the rebound.
Juve, who last won the European Cup in 1995-96, doubled their lead and went 4-0 up on aggregate in style when Alves unleashed a stunning volley from outside the box after Subasic had punched a corner clear.
Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe has become the youngest ever Champions League semi-final goal scorer with his second-half strike at Juventus.
At age 18 years, 140 days, the striker made history with a 69th-minute goal on Tuesday, converting from a close-range Joao Moutinho pass.
The goal also put an end to Juventus’ 689-minute shutout streak – the second longest in Champions League history.
The teenager’s strike was only a consolation for Monaco, with the goal making it 2-1 Juve on the night and 4-1 on aggregate. The Old Lady advanced to the final in Cardiff with a 4-1 win over the two legs.
Mbappe has now scored in five of his first six Champions League knockout matches, with the semi-final first leg in Monaco the only match in which he’s failed to find the back of the net.