REGGIO EMILIA - Having lost to Napoli in the final of the Coppa Italia last June, Juve finally got their payback beating them 2-0 in the Supercoppa on Wednesday night.
The match, played between the winners of Serie A and the Coppa Italia, was decided by goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, the record 760th in his professional career, and Alvaro Morata. Held on neutral ground in the empty Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia, the match saw a couple of great chances for Napoli but some incredible goalkeeping by Poland’s Wojciech Szczesny kept Juve’s clean sheet.
A decisive moment in the match came when Napoli’s Insigne missed a penalty in the 79th minute, and with it the chance to make the game 1-1 - a moment when the captain was probably glad the stadium was empty.
Ronaldo’s goal came in the 64th minute from a corner deflected into his path off the back of a Napoli defender, leaving him to just slot it past the goalkeeper from a few yards out. Morata sealed the victory with a goal on the counter attack in the 5th minute of added time.
The trophy marked the 31st career title for Ronaldo, and the first as a coach for Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo, the former Juve player, said after the match, “it is a great joy, and to lift my first trophy as a coach is something different, even more than as a player, because you are in command of such an important team, and a historic club. So it is even more beautiful.”
Juventus are currently fighting for their 10th Series A title in a row, though currently only stand at 5th in the table. Speaking about the loss to Inter in the Coppa Italia on Sunday, Pirlo said, “we want to show that we are not that team, but that we are a group of champions who are still hungry and want to go all the way in every competition.”
ROME - Lazio dominate Roma for a 3-0 victory in the Rome derby and Inter Milan beat Juventus for the first time in eight matches to tie with AC Milan at the top of the table.
A goal from Immobile and two for Luis Alberto sealed the victory for Lazio on Friday, in a match dominated by three Lazio players, Immobile, Luis Alberto and Lazzari. A mistake by Ibanez in the penalty area led to Lazio’s first goal, with the other two coming from wonderful strikes by Luis Alberto.
In Milan on Sunday, Inter beat Juventus 2-0, with goals from Vidal and Barella, to bring them level on points with their neighbours AC Milan. However, Milan have a chance to retake the lead with a game still to play against 17th-place Cagliari on Monday. Juventus are now fifth in the table, though with a game in hand, having had their match in October against third-place Napoli postponed due to Covid cases within the Juve camp.
In a poor performance by Juventus, an early goal for Ronaldo was ruled offside before a headed goal in the 12th minute by Vidal, the former Juve player, gave Inter the lead. Barella solidified the lead with a fantastic goal on the counter, seven minutes into the second half.
The other title contenders Napoli beat Fiorentina 6-0 on Sunday, in a very one sided affair that saw goals from Insigne (two), Demme, Lozano, Zielinski and Politano.