Juventus to Champions League final match after beating Monaco 2-1
Dani Alves proved his critics wrong as he inspired Juventus to a 2-1 win over Monaco on Tuesday to send the Italian club to its second Champions League final in three years, Associated Press reported.
Often described as being past his best when he joined Juventus from Barcelona on a free transfer last June, the 34-year-old Alves was often mocked during the season, AP added.
But Alves had a man-of-the-match performance against Monaco, setting up Mario Mandzukic’s opener in the 33rd minute before getting on the scoresheet himself on the stroke of halftime with a sensational long-range volley as Juventus swept to a 4-1 victory on aggregate, according to AP.
“The most important thing is to help my team to win, whether scoring or providing assists,” Alves said. “I don’t score very often, so I’m happy, but in a way I prefer the assist to a goal, so everyone goes home happy.”
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet on Wednesday for the other second-leg match, with defending champion Real Madrid leading 3-0. But Alves, who spent eight years at Real’s fierce rival Barcelona, insists he has no preference on who Juventus meets in the final, AP indicated.
“Playing a final is enough motivation for me,” Alves said. “It doesn’t change anything for me if it is against Real Madrid, it would be a great match in world football. But Real still has a match to play. It won’t be Barcelona against Real Madrid, but Juventus against Real.”
There was one man to whom Alves didn’t need to prove anything: Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, AP said.
“Three months ago, some people wanted to strangle Dani Alves,” Allegri said with a smile. “But when a player is good, he’s good in June, September and the following June … he hasn’t turned mediocre.
“Anyways, Alves is not someone we’ve discovered in the past three months. He’s won 29 titles.”
Kylian Mbappe scored a consolation goal in the 69th minute for Monaco, as Juventus remained on course for the treble. Allegri’s side is likely to secure an unprecedented sixth Serie A title on Sunday at Roma, while it is also in the Italian Cup final, AP added.
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