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UEFA Champions League

Monaco must attack Juventus without fear - Jardim

20:43 BST 08/05/2017
Leonardo Jardim
Two goals from Gonzalo Higuain have left the Ligue 1 with an uphill battle, but their coach is determined to push Juve to the limit

Monaco have to attack without fearing the threat Juventus pose on the counter in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, says coach Leonardo Jardim.

Gonzalo Higuain's brace at the Stade Louis II last week means Juve are in control of the tie, while Gianluigi Buffon has kept six clean sheets in a row in the Champions League, leaving the odds firmly against Monaco.

But Jardim - whose side are on track to win Ligue 1 - said Monaco have to put the first-leg result behind them as they prepare for the return fixture in Turin on Tuesday.

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"We will have to attack with our minds free of bad thoughts," Jardim told reporters. "In the first leg we had the same number of shots on goal as Juve, but they were more clinical. 

"Obviously they are more mature than we are but we lost because we didn't make the most of our chances. Tomorrow we want to keep our dream alive: our objective is to reach the final. 

"I'm very proud of my players and what they have done so far, regardless of Tuesday's result."

Jardim hinted at his selection plans for the second leg, with a shift in tactics likely to deal with the attacking threat of Dani Alves, who provided assists for both of Higuain's goals in the opening match.

"Juventus gave us a lot of problems in the first leg so we will have to change something for sure," Jardim added. "Alves especially was very good but it's normal because he is a great player who is used to playing in this kind of game. 

"Juve in general are a great team so we will have to be at our very best if we want to beat them. We are expecting great things from [Radamel] Falcao but [Benjamin] Mendy is not 100 per cent at the moment; it would be a risk to field him."

Despite Juve looking likely to book a final clash against Real Madrid - who lead Atletico Madrid 3-0 after their own first leg - Monaco right-back Djibril Sidibe said his side think they can overturn the two-goal deficit.

"We still believe we can qualify," Sidibe told reporters. "We might have lost the first leg but we are ready to play a great game. Buffon is a great goalkeeper, he is always very focused and made two great saves in the first leg.

"We have had a great season so far and tomorrow we will give our best to win. We were disappointed with the result of the first leg but we are still full of enthusiasm. We have many young players but we're very talented. The main objective is to end the game with no regrets.

"We are looking forward to playing here in this stadium; there will be a great atmosphere. We have proved that we can score plenty of goals this season so we still believe we can do it, we still have a chance. We are ready to play a great game against a very strong side in Juventus."