Cristiano Ronaldo leads Juventus to Italian Super Cup title
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo will be able to have a slight breather after claiming his first piece of silverware in charge of the club on Wednesday. Juventus defeated Napoli 2-0 in the Italian Super Cup final played in Reggio Emilia.
The title victory comes just after Juventus was beaten by Inter Milan in Serie A, pushing them down to fifth place on the table, ten points adrift of leaders AC Milan. This is the worst campaign for Juventus in a very long time, after winning nine consecutive league titles. With the club in danger of losing their winning streak, Pirlo is under a lot of pressure to deliver.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata certainly delivered against Napoli, scoring the only two goals of the evening.
The first half ended goalless, but Ronaldo showed off once again that he is a man that brings his A-game in the big matches. The Portuguese star scored the opening goal in the 64th minute, putting Juventus in the lead. He demonstrated clear presence of mind as he drilled in a ball that fell in front of the goal from a corner.
Napoli had their fair share of chances courtesy of Hirving Lozano and Lorenzo Insigne. Lozano’s open play attempt was saved by Wojciech Szczesny, but Insigne will be kicking himself after shooting a spot kick wide off the mark.
Late in stoppage time, Morata doubled the lead after a counter-attack from a Napoli corner. Juan Cuadrado sped through the pitch to find the Spaniard waiting to finish into an open goal just before a climactic final whistle.
Pirlo will now have a trophy to show off once the club makes an assessment of his performance at the end of the season. With the Super Cup in the bag, they now have to focus on improving their Serie A ranking. Juventus will be facing Bologna for an early kick-off on Saturday, and will be hoping to slowly chip at AC Milan’s massive lead.