Juventus claimed a record eighth Supercoppa Italiana crown on Wednesday evening as they beat AC Milan 1-0 at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium.
Predictably, Cristiano Ronaldo was the difference between the two teams as his header in the 61st minute was enough to earn his first trophy since joining the Italian giants. AC Milan struggled to get back into the tie as Franck Kessie received his marching orders in the 73rd minutes.
Juventus enjoy the better early chances
Both sides started well in Jeddah but it was Juventus who went closest to drawing first blood as Douglas Costa curled a spectacular effort just wide. Joao Cancelo also had a near miss as he fizzed a low effort just wide of Gianluigi Donnarumma’s far post.
Max Allegri’s troops thought they had taken the lead as Blaise Matuidi stabbed home from Costa’s clever pass but the Frenchman’s strike was ruled out by the linesman’s offside flag.
As the first-half wore on, Juventus slowly but surely grew into the game. Cristiano Ronaldo had an opportunity to open the scoring as he connected acrobatically with Costa’s cross but the ball flew just marginally wide.
Milan twice go close
Despite the Old Lady’s dominance throughout the opening period, Hakhan Calhanoglu almost opened the scoring with thunderous, low drive. It took an excellent reaction save from Wojciech Szczęsny to keep Milan at bay.
Patrick Cutrone then was only inches from the opener as the ball fell to the striker in the penalty box but he could only hammer is effort against the crossbar. Calhanoglu, whose influence was beginning to grow, then put a speculative effort just wide of the Juventus net.
Ronaldo leaps highest
The parity did not last for much longer as Cristiano Ronaldo found himself on the scoresheet once again. Miralem Pjanic was given far too much room to loop a ball into the penalty area. The Portuguese had peeled off of the AC Milan defence and it was an easy task as he nodded beyond Donnarumma.
A wonderful move seemingly put Juventus in control as Paulo Dybala combined with Ronaldo before finishing expertly but once again, the Italian champions were thwarted by an offside call.
Kessie sees red
Following Ronaldo’s opening strike, it always looked a tough test for Milan to get back into the game. It was made even more difficult following Kessie’s dismissal. The midfielder crunched into Emre Can and was initially shown a yellow card. However, after consulting VAR, he was shown a straight red card and sent from the pitch.
That gave Juventus predictable confidence to close out the game and they did so with consummate ease as Milan failed to really threaten their goal. As a result, Allegri’s men lifted their eighth Supercoppa Italiana title.
The scoreline was tight on paper and that was exactly how the game played out in Saudi Arabia. Both teams created chances and died enough to impress. Having said that, Juventus probably did deserve the victory. They were more dominant on the ball throughout the majority of the clash and will feel fortunate to have Cristiano Ronaldo occupying the forward positions in their team.
Juventus: Szczesny (7); Sandro (6), Chiellini (7), Bonucci (6), Cancelo (7); Bentancur (6) (Bernardeschi (N/A), 86′), Pjanic (7) (Can (6), 65′), Matuidi (7); Costa (6) (Khedira (N/A), 89′), Ronaldo (7), Dybala (7).
AC Milan: Donnarumma (6); Rodriguez (6), Romagnoli (6), Zapata (6), Calabria (7); Paqueta (7) (Borini (5), 71′), Bakayoko (6), Kessie (6); Calhanoglu (7), Cutrone (6) (Conti (N/A), 79′), Castillejo (6) (Higuain (6), 71′).
Goals: Ronaldo (61′)
Referee: Luca Banti
Yellow Cards: Calhanoglu (21′), Sandro (27′), Pjanic (44′), Castillejo (45+2′), Romagnoli (74′), Calabria (82′), Rodriguez (87′) Dybala (90+4′)
Red Cards: Kessie (73′)
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!