Monaco Cruised Into Semis, Barca Held By Juventus

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

Monaco have made the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2004 after a 3-1 win (6-3 on aggregate) win over Borussia Dortmund.

Monaco took a two-goal lead in under 20 minutes through Kylian Mbappe from a rebound after a Benjamin Mendy long-range strike followed by Radamel Falcao’s free header. Marco Reus replied for the visitors two minutes after half-time.

Despite Dortmund improving in the second half and enjoying more of the ball, substitute Valere Germain sealed Monaco’s place in the semi-finals just seconds after coming off the bench.

The task was already tough for Dortmund with Monaco already leading 3-2 on a difficult night at Signal Iduna Park last week through an Mbappe double and a Sven Bender own goal.

Meanwhile, at Camp Nou, the Bavarians were held to a goalless draw by the visitors to much of their frustrations. Juventus’ solid defence, were not easy to break as Barcelona succumbed to the 3-0 loss from the first encounter.

Gonzalo Higuain missed two first-half chances inside the box for the visitors, while Barcelona’s Lionel Messi also fluffed two of his own either side of the break as the hosts chased the game.

Juventus’ superb backline held on for a clean sheet, sailing through to the last four as a result, meaning Massimiliano Allegri’s side reach the last four for only the second time since 2003.

With Barcelona facing an uphill task having lost the first leg 3-0 in Turin, Juventus reached half-time unscathed with a determined defensive performance.

The last four teams that are left in the Champions League are Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Monaco and Juventus. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are once again in with a chance of returning to Europe’s biggest club match, where Atletico will hope to avenge their defeat to Zinedine Zidane’s men in last season’s final.

The draw can be watched live on UEFA.com, who stream the ceremony for each round on their official website. The Champions League semi-final draw will take place on Friday, April 21 at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, at 12pm CET (11am BST, 6am ET). It will be followed by the draw for the same round of the Europa League an hour later.

The semi-final draw is open and unseeded, so the teams are unranked and clubs from the same country can face each other.

Put simply, it is a totally random draw and anyone can face anyone.