Football

Champions League: Monaco succumb to a penalty against Juve, PSG host Barça in Paris

Photo: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

Monaco lost to Juventus in a controversial Champions League quarter final in Turin on Tuesday night. The French league hopefuls were looking to shock the Italian champions but were instead undone by a penalty just before the hour. In Wednesday’s quarter final matches Paris Saint-Germain take on Barcelona. PSG are desperate to reach the last four after losing at the same stage of the competition in the past two seasons.

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Monaco gave Juventus the advantage in their clash, losing 1-0 after conceding a penalty in the 57th minute.

Ricardo Carvalho brought down Juve’s Alvaro Morata in a tackle that seemed just outside the area. However, referee Pavel Kralovec dismissed Monaco’s protests and pointed to the spot.

The victory does not bode well for Monaco in the return leg especially given their shaky form at home in the competition this season.

We’re not happy with the result and because of the penalty the referee gave against us. But there’s one more game to go, so we’re optimistic that we can do something and get to the next round. Everybody played perfectly I think, we had chances to score, we prepared very well for the game. Unfortunately we lost, but everybody and I think the coach can say the same, everybody played very well. Hopefully we can do the same in Monaco and qualify because we know we can do it.

In Tuesday’s night other fixture Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid fought out a goalless draw that was mired in controversy.

Atlético striker Mario Mandzukic was left with a bloodied face after what could have been a bite from Real defender Dani Carvajal.

Carvajal denied bitting Mandzukic but was seen landing a punch at the Croatian striker that the referee did not see.

Photo: Reuters/Juan Medina

The most important thing for us from the away leg is we’re still in it. As long as we don’t concede it’s a good result for us and looking forward to the second leg at home. For me I think we should have won maybe by a few, I definitely thought we deserved to win especially in the first half we played probably the best we’ve played against Atlético in a little while and shame we didn’t really push on in the second half but a strong performance and one that will give us confidence going into the second leg.

Looking ahead to Wednesday’s clash against Barcelona, PSG will be hoping to turn the corner after losing to Barcelona and Chelsea in the quarters over the last two seasons.

PSG beat Barça 3-2 in the group stages this time around and showed serious heart beating Chelsea on away goals to reach the last 16.

Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

The match against Chelsea has given us a lot of confidence. The atmosphere was magnificent afterwards because it was a feat achieved in a stadium which is very difficult to play at, in a difficult situation. You have to take advantage of being here, play with a lot of intensity. We mustn’t forget our philosophy of possession. We’re playing at home, it’s in Paris, the pitch is magnificent, so that allows us to concentrate on our game. But we’re facing a very strong team and difficult to beat - you must be solid, aggressive and intense.

Completing the line-up for Wednesday, Bayern Munich travel to Porto in a match that sees former team-mates going head-to-head as rival coaches.

Pep Guardiola’s Bundesliga giants take on Julen Lopetegui’s Porto. Twenty years ago the two both played for Barcelona, Guardiola in midfield and Lopetegui in goal.

Porto are unbeaten in the Champions League this season, while Bayern are in the hunt for the treble of European, domestic cup and league crowns.

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