The Super Cup in the sign of Ronaldo, like two years ago against Milan in the warmth of Jeddah. This time, in the cold of the Po Valley, Cristiano’s under-measure touch directs the match with Napoli, give to Pirlo the first trophy in his young career as a coach and a breath of hope at Juventus after the painful thud against Inter. Morata, at the last breath, takes advantage of the counterattack organized by Cuadrado e closes the account.
Within three days the black and white horizon changes. At least one answer. Even if the problems remain. One game is not enough to heal. The construction site is open. The old queen plays the game, but contracted, rarely dangerous. And saved by two formidable saves, one at the very end, by Szczesny. Napoli has only one regret, albeit a big one: the penalty missed by Insigne ten minutes from the ninetieth. And just against Juve, in March 2019, the captain had missed the last shot from the spot. A curse. Lorenzo, in the end, cries consoled by his companions. Gattuso’s team is wrong to believe it late, driven only by desperation. A wasted opportunity against a Juve certainly not irresistible.
Pirlo changes four compared to the disastrous Sunday at San Siro. Arthur gives order to the midfield, Cuadrado, recovered from Covid and in the end the best in the field together with Szczesny, gives dynamism to the bianconeri. Kulusevski plays in attack with Ronaldo, Chiesa moves to the left. A more dynamic, orderly and determined Juve.
But the best opportunity of the first half, in which the two teams show fear, of Napoli: Szczesny performs a miracle by swiftly diverting the gore of Lozano, quick to anticipate Danilo on Demme’s short cross. Juve, who control the game, maneuver even if often inconclusive. Napoli struggles to restart and trigger the quality of its backs. 0-0 is the natural consequence of a blocked game. The Bianconeri’s best chance happens on Danilo’s feet, after a close triangulation with McKennie, but the defender shoots against Ospina on the way out and the referee Valeri whistles an offside that doesn’t exist.
In the interval Pirlo substitute the inconclusive Chiesa, stopped by an ankle problem, with Bernardeschi. And the latest arrival, after just 47 seconds, has a golden opportunity in the small area, stopped by Ospina. In the second half Juve increases the pace and is more convinced. Ronaldo, posted near Ospina, quick to take advantage of Bakayoko’s involuntary deviation after the corner of Bernardeschi.
Gattuso plays the cardMertens. And the Belgian who, within seven minutes, he wins the penalty of a possible draw (naive McKennie). Insigne does not even find the mirror on the door. Convulsive the final: Ronaldo fails to double and the possibility of hooking Pel, Szczesny kept the advantage by deflecting Lozano’s shot with his feet soiled by Chiellini. Morata makes sure the ninth Bianconeri Super Cup.
January 20, 2021 (change January 20, 2021 | 23:31)
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