Monaco, Juventus advance to Champions League semis
- 20 Apr 2017 at 04:24
- WRITER: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Barcelona's Luis Suarez (right) and Alex Sandro of Juventus battle for the ball during their Champions League quarter-final, second leg match. (EPA photo)
MONACO - Rising teenage star Kylian Mbappe and resurgent forward Radamel Falcao scored early goals as free-scoring Monaco beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 to reach the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday.
The semifinal draw on Friday will include Monaco, Juventus, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Dortmund trailed 3-2 from the first leg in Germany and conceded twice inside 20 minutes - meaning it needed to score three times to have a chance. Attacking midfielder Marco Reus pulled one back in the 48th minute.
But substitute Valere Germain, just after replacing Mbappe, added the third in the 81st minute to seal a 6-3 victory on aggregate. It was Monaco's 141st goal of an incredible season that has captured the imagination and made the rest of Europe take notice.
The home leg in Germany was overshadowed by an attack on the Dortmund team bus as it headed to the stadium. Prior to Wednesday's game, Dortmund's bus was held for 20 minutes by police at the team hotel. Kickoff was briefly delayed.
Dortmund made the worst possible start to the match, conceding a goal after just three minutes.
Left back Bernard Mendy ran at the heart of Dortmund's defence and hit a fierce shot that goalkeeper Roman Burki spilled. Mbappe slotted the loose ball into the bottom left corner for his 22nd goal of a breakthrough season that has made the 18-year-old arguably the most sought after young talent in world football.
He had scored twice in the first leg and in both legs against Manchester City in the Round of 16.
Falcao's diving header, the 27th goal of his comeback season, made it 2-0 in the 17th minute.
Reus pulled one back when he turned in a right-wing cross from substitute Ousmane Dembele to offer some hope, before Germain sprinted through to send Stade Louis II crowd into raptures.
In the night's other match, Barcelona went out after drawing 0-0 at home to Juventus, which won the first leg 3-0.
The second-leg stalemate sealed a 3-0 win on aggregate and came six weeks after Barcelona's historic 6-1 thrashing of Paris Saint-Germain, when the home side became the first team to ever overturn a 4-0 loss in the competition.
Juventus showed all the poise and experience that PSG had sorely lacked in the previous round.
"Juventus is a great team and they were better than us," Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said. "It was a difficult result to turn around, although we tried until the end. They are an Italian club and defend very well. I wish them the best and I think they can win the title."
True to the Italian tradition of defending an advantage, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had little work to do until late in the game, as Massimiliano Allegri's side expertly absorbed Barcelona's high-paced passing attack that ultimately produced few good scoring opportunities.
And when Lionel Messi did get free inside the area, Barcelona's all-time leading scorer squandered both his chances to spark a fight back.
The only miracle seen in Barcelona this time was Juventus not getting a late goal with the Spanish side barely having legs to recover on defense.
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