The Portugal forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, nodded in Miralem Pjanic’s lofted pass in the second half to settle a meeting between Italian football’s two most successful clubs. It was Ronaldo’s 16th goal of the season for the Serie A leaders. Patrick Cutrone hit the crossbar for Milan, who had Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie sent off.
Gonzalo Higuain, reportedly the subject of interest from Chelsea, was introduced as a substitute by Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso in Italy’s version of the Community Shield.
But the 31-year-old Argentina forward, who is currently on loan from Juventus, was unable to deliver an equalising goal for the Rossoneri, who were beaten 4-0 by Juve in the Coppa Italia final in May.
The Portuguese superstar rose to the occasion again in a Supercoppa Italiana final date with AC Milan, much to the delight of his coach at Juventus
Massimiliano Allegri says Cristiano Ronaldo was signed exactly for the kind of match-winning impact he made for Juventus against AC Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana. In a contest that lacked fast tempo for large parts, Ronaldo headed in the decisive goal in the 61st minute to seal the win in Jeddah.
Franck Kessie was later sent off for Milan, as Ronaldo was able to celebrate a first trophy since joining from Real madrid in a 112m euros deal. Juventus boss Allegri hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact and perfomance of the team on the whole, even though he felt his side could have been a bit more clinical.
“We signed Cristiano Ronaldo because he is decisive and scores big goals,” he said.”He scored a great goal and moved very well, but the whole team put in a good performance.
“There were a few too many counter-attacks – we should’ve had more moves like the Paulo Dybala disallowed goal. “Instead, we kept trying to move it around too quickly and allowed Milan some counters, forcing us to sprint back.” Douglas Costa left the pitch in a gingerly fashion late in the game, but Allegri moved to allay any injury fears. “It was just cramp, he played a good game,” Allegri added. “These players know what it means to sacrifice.
“I admire above all the spirit and professionalism of this team, as those who came off the bench even if only for a few minutes had the right attitude and determination to make a difference.”That’s what we need going forward this season.”