Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal to hand Juventus their first trophy of the season — and the star signing his first for the club — with a 1-0 win over 10-man AC Milan.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal to hand Juventus their first trophy of the season with a 1-0 win over 10-man AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup on Wednesday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo — signed by the Italian giants last year from Real Madrid as they target a first Champions League title since 1996 — headed in a 61st-minute winner.
Juventus got their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2015
Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal secured the Italian Super Cup for Juventus after a 1-0 win over 10-man AC Milan.
“He makes a difference but then that’s exactly why we signed him – for games like this.” Said his Coach.
“It wasn’t just his goal; his movement, in general, was excellent. The whole team moved well actually. It was a really good performance.” He added
The Portugal international struck with a second-half header as Juventus, runners-up in the previous two seasons, got their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2015.
It was also the first piece of silverware for Ronaldo since he swapped Real Madrid for Turin last summer.
— Blaise Matuidi (@MATUIDIBlaise) January 16, 2019
AC Milan played the last quarter of an hour a man down after Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie saw red for a bad tackle on Emre Can.
Christian Ronaldo’s first title with Juventus
“I have my first title with Juventus so I’m happy,” said the Portuguese star who now has 28 trophies including five Champions League and league titles from England and Spain, and a European Championship with Portugal.
“I really wanted this, to get off to a good start in 2019.
“This is only the start, we’ll take it one step at a time.
We’ve got this cup, now we must keep working hard to achieve the next trophy,” warned Christiano Ronaldo.
Christiano Ronaldo‘s second-half header sees off AC Milan as the Bianconeri claim their eighth Italian Super Cup crown.
The match was to be relocated over human rights issues
The match had been overshadowed by controversy with calls for it to be relocated over human rights issues in Saudi Arabia with women only allowed to attend the game if they were accompanied by a man.
Italian politicians and human rights activists had objected to the game being played in Saudi Arabia, citing the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
The match went ahead at a sold-out King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah in front of more than 61,000 fans, including many women who were only allowed into Saudi sports stadiums a year ago for the first time to watch soccer matches.
“It was a wonderful evening, a festival of sport in a full stadium,” said Micciche.
Players suffered in the heat
“I hope that it’s the starting point for social evolution in this country.”
On the pitch, the players suffered in the heat with temperatures hitting 25 degrees Celsius amid freezing conditions in northern Italy.
In the end, Juventus came away with a record eighth Super Cup title, one more than AC Milan who has won seven.
“I’m really pleased and I want to congratulate everyone. The lads got their approach spot on,” Said Massimiliano Allegri who was in the mood for dishing out praise after watching his team claim their first trophy of the year in Jeddah.
“It was an enjoyable match with lots of chances and a high tempo from the off, despite the heat and the fact it was only the second game after the winter break.” He added
“We could have ended the game better after they went down to 10 men. We got caught on the counter three times. We should have used the width better because we ended up chasing them at times.
“Still, it was our second all-or-nothing game in a row and we’ve come through it well. Key to victory was our spirit and professionalism – you could see that from the contribution of the players who came on.”
“Ronaldo? We always say the same thing … that’s why we signed him. He is decisive and scores big goals, but the whole team put in a good performance.”
AC Milan forward Gonzalo Higuain only played the final 20 minutes against his parent club, ahead of a touted move to Chelsea, having moved away from Turin to make way for Ronaldo last summer.
Following the Italian Super Cup defeat in Jeddah, Gennaro Gattuso reportedly said
“I applaud the guys for how they played, we were punished by individual incidents. Juve hadn’t given up four or five chances in open play for some time but we didn’t make the most of them. We lost because they came up with a piece of play from a great player and we got something a little wrong on a technical level. It’s disappointing because we gave everything, a win would have been fundamental.”
I’m very disappointed
“It’s too easy to look for excuses. I’m very disappointed because they stopped one of our moves for offside but not Juve’s. It’s upsetting, I don’t like the attitude. We respectfully ask for explanations but they’re never given because it seems impossible to do so. This annoys me but you have to accept it. It stings, we were doing well and convinced that we could do it but individual episodes hurt us. What is a penalty on Conti? You tell me. I don’t want to complain about it, we’ll be without some important players when we play away to Genoa.” Said Gattuso
We never give up
“Compliments have to be made and we need to keep this attitude without giving up. We didn’t win but the performance still stands. At the moment, the important thing is recouping our energy because if games are going well, you find it quickly but otherwise, it takes a while. We need to stay calm in our work. We still have improvements to make, we could have hurt this Juve side. Now, the focus turns to the league and the cup.” He added.
In recent year the Italian Super Cup — traditionally the annual match between Italy’s Serie A winners and Coppa Italia champions — has been overseas in China, Libya, the US, and Qatar.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) January 16, 2019
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