Juventus grabbed the advantage from the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie against Monaco thanks to Arturo Vidal’s second-half penalty in Turin, Italy. The Chilean midfielder struck just before the hour mark after Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho brought down Alvaro Morata, with the contact adjudged to have been just inside the box.
In the meeting between the two outsiders in the Champions League’s final eight, Juventus predictably dictated the tempo. Still, both sides had presentable chances before Vidal found the net to put the Italian champions and league leaders in the driver's seat heading to the Stade Louis II for the second leg next Wednesday.
Monaco had stunned Arsenal away from home in their upset Round of 16 victory, and it was they who were the more dangerous in the early going. And predictably it was the pace of the Ligue 1 side that was causing the Juventus defense plenty of problems on the counterattack. And the visitors had a glorious chance to go ahead just 10 minutes in. Anthony Martial squared for rising Belgian star Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, but with a clean sight of goal from the center of the box, he shot too close to Gianluigi Buffon.
For all their growing possession, Juventus were having trouble breaking down a Monaco team that has been phenomenally solid defensively in recent months. Still, the hosts had two big opportunities to go in front before the interval. Having struck a brilliant goal against Borussia Dortmund in the last round, Carlos Tevez’s clinical touch in front of goal was conspicuous by its absence when he mistimed a free back-post volley into the ground and into the hands of Danijel Subasic. The Monaco goalkeeper didn’t even have to move to deny an equally presentable chance right before the interval. From Tevez’s fine pass, Vidal touched inside but side-footed over the crossbar.
Vidal was to have his chance to shine, but not before Monaco again threatened to get a vital away goal on the break. This time it was recently introduced substitute Bernardo Silva who failed to take advantage after good work from Ferreira Carrasco. Just a couple of minutes later, Juventus got the all-important breakthrough. Carvalho’s advanced years were evident in his lack of pace on the turn that led to the Monaco defender's bundling down Morata as he raced to get on the end of Andrea Pirlo’s aerial through ball. The initial contact appeared a fraction outside the area, but Juventus got the benefit of the doubt in the award of a penalty, while Carvalho was perhaps fortunate to get away with just a yellow card.
Despite his early waywardness in front of goal, Vidal was charged with the responsibility from 12 yards. And the midfielder justified that decision as he slammed the spot-kick into the top corner of the net, leaving Subasic with no chance. Monaco abandoned their defensive-first approach with the introduction of Dimitar Berbatov, but Leonardo Jarim’s men couldn’t find a way through in the remaining minutes, leaving them with plenty to do in order to prevent Juventus' claiming a first Champions League semifinal berth in 12 years.