Gianluigi Buffon still Juventus' rock after 100 Champions League games
Gianluigi Buffon celebrated his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance for Juventus on Wednesday with a clean sheet in a victory in the first leg of the semifinal round against Monaco.
Buffon became only the second Italian player to reach the century mark for one club after Paolo Maldini, who did so in 2007 and finished with 109 appearances for AC Milan.
Coach Leonardo Jardim praised Buffon's effort in the 2-0 victory, saying that the goalkeeper "pulled off two or three incredible saves" that moved the club closer to their ninth appearance in the final.
Juventus, who are unbeaten in 11 Champions League games this season, have not conceded a goal since the group stage -- a run of 621 minutes, the fifth-longest streak in the history of the competition.
The last player to score against Buffon in a Champions League game was Sevilla's Nicolas Pareja, who did so in the ninth minute of a 3-1 victory for Juventus on Nov. 22.
Until Wednesday, Juventus had never kept six consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League. They now have a goal difference of plus-17, the best of any club in the competition, and have only allowed two goals, tied for the fewest in the tournament despite having played five more games.
The last club to keep a clean sheet in each of their first five knockout-round games was Arsenal, who did so over their first six games in 2005-06 before losing to Barcelona in the final.
Monaco failed to score for the first time in 30 home games this season and only the fourth time in 58 games in all competitions. They entered Wednesday undefeated at home this season in the Champions League and had outscored their opponents 11-3 in their last home four games in the competition.
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