Dani Alves simply superlative as Juventus move past Monaco
Defensively strong and offensively brilliant, Juventus played with balance and experience to defeat Monaco 2-1 to progress to the final of the Champions League.
Presided over by a tactical genius, Juve's progression wasn't in much doubt after the victory in Monaco. With Dani Alves demonstrating his vision and Mario Mandzukic scoring in addition to mastering every role on the pitch, Juve produced the perfect team performance to secure another victory and their ninth Champions League final, keeping hopes of the treble alive.
Dani Alves must surely be considered the man of the two-legged semifinal. A veteran who boasts experience and great fight, he is relentless in his ability to deliver the perfect assist, given how he can spot the perfect pass like no other. His contribution to the team has helped Juventus grow offensively, and the team are no longer considered simply defensive but rather enthralling going forward as well.
Having conceded only two goals in the entire tournament, it was a shame that Juventus conceded their third tonight. A drop in concentration led to a Kylian Mbappe goal that should serve to remind the Italians that the fight is never over until the final whistle.
Manager rating out of 10
9 -- Massimiliano Allegri must surely be considered the best tactician in the world, based on how balanced and tactically fluid his Juventus have been this season. Shackling Europe's best offence before then allowing his side to express their full attacking potential is a feat that must be admired and studied for years to come.
Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Gianluigi Buffon, 6 -- Struggled initially but initiated the attack that led to the first goal. Intelligent, solid and visionary. There was nothing he could do about Mbappe's consolation strike.
DF Andrea Barzagli, 6 -- Wouldn't let Mbappe out of his sight. A good performance from the player who, alongside Dani Alves, shackled the "wonderkid" until he was taken off.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 6 -- A leader who simply read every move perfectly, he commanded the defence with authority.
DF Giorgio Chiellini, 7 -- A hero when called upon, Chiellini rescued his team from Falcao just before the end of the first half. He is a reliable warrior who wins his aerial duels and tries to block everything.
DF Alex Sandro, 6 -- Boasting stamina and offensive ambition, it was his run down the left wing that led to the first goal, even if he isn't always the most secure defensively.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 6 -- The Bosnian is happy to show off his strength, fighting to win possession and always on hand to get Juventus moving. He is reliable when he has the ball at his feet.
MF Sami Khedira, NR -- Taken off with injury after only 10 minutes.
MF Dani Alves, 10 -- The man of the tie, the creator of all things beautiful, Alves was the personification of perfection. He not only helped Barzagli defend against Mbappe but also delivered a brilliant assist before demonstrating audacious technique to score Juve's second on the night.
MF Paulo Dybala, 6 -- Worked his magic between the lines, coordinating Juve's countless attacks in the first half. A true playmaker. He had a chance for goal, but Subasic produced the save.
MF Mario Mandzukic, 7 -- On a brilliant run that led to his important opening goal, Mandzukic was everywhere, fighting for ball until the final moment. He was simply sensational to deliver a booming long pass forward for Higuain, proving he really can do it all.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, 7 -- Always available for the pass, Higuain boasts such great movement, even if he couldn't score the goal he wanted. Always on hand to help his teammates and duel with the centre-backs, he provided what should have been a great assist for Mandzukic, but it wasn't converted.
MF Claudio Marchisio, 6 -- Delivering more attacking third passes than any other Juve player, Juventus are lucky to have such a gem to call upon from the bench. Tidy and intelligent, Marchisio knows how to provide balance.
MF Juan Cuadrado, 6 -- Had a good chance for goal but took too many touches. A lot of energy but little incisiveness.
DF Mehdi Benatia, NR -- Not on long enough to make an impact.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.