Italian Super Cup 2018

      16 January 2019. Juve faced off against AC Milan once again for the Italian Super Cup and, like in 2003 (New York), the match was played outside Italy – this time in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

      Cristiano Ronaldo's header secured the Bianconeri their first piece of silverware for the season and the calendar year, as well as CR7's first trophy in Juve colours.

      It may not have been the most spectacular of matches but it was keenly fought and enjoyed by the 62,000 crowd at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium. Massimiliano Allegri, claiming his tenth trophy in the Bianconeri dugout, brought Joao Cancelo back into the starting line-up with Douglas Costa in front of him on the right of a three-pronged attack, together with Paulo Dybala and Ronaldo. Juve almost took the lead with their first chance as Cancelo danced his way into a shooting position and struck a curling effort just wide, while AC Milan responded with a header from Hakan Calhanoglu. The Rossoneri were playing a more direct brand of football with Juve building their play more slowly, their best moves coming through Douglas Costa and Cancelo – the Portuguese angled a shot just wide around the 15-minute mark.

      The tempo slowed as the half wore on and not much happened until the 40th minute, apart from a Douglas Costa break forward, a Giorgio Chiellini effort that finished just off target and a Blaise Matuidi goal ruled out for a clear offside. Then Allegri inverted Douglas Costa and Dybala, with the Brazilian switching to the left, and Juve almost took the lead: the cross came in and Ronaldo saw his acrobatic effort bounce down in front of Gigio Donnarumma and over the bar. AC Milan had another chance before the half was out when the ball rather fortuitously found its way to Calhanoglu, but the Turk's left-footed finish was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

      Gattuso's side emerged from the interval fired up and within minutes Patrick Cutrone had rattled the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the box. The pace of the game seemed to have picked up a notch and the teams were occasionally getting stretched. The deadlock was broken on the hour mark when Miralem Pjanic floated a delightful ball into the area for Ronaldo, who timed his run to perfection and nodded past Donnarumma. 1-0 it remained as Juventus saw out the match and headed back to Italy with their eighth Italian Super Cupmore than any other club.



      Massimilano Allegri

      Szczesny, Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo, Perin, Pinsoglio, Del Favero, De Sciglio, Rugani, Spinazzola Bernardeschi, Kean, Benatia, Barzagli, Khedira, Can, Cuadrado, Mandzukic

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