AC Milan edge past Juventus to wrest Italy’s Super Cup

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Dec 2016 09:11:21


Doha,

Dec 24,

(IANS),

A highly-spirited AC Milan hoisted their seventh Supercoppa Italiana football trophy after prevailing against heavy favourites Juventus via a penalty shoot-out 4-3 (1-1) at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.


Seventeen-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was the hero for the historic club Rossoneri, making a superb stop against Juventus' Paulo Dybala with the sides knotted at 3-3 in the shoot-out on Friday, reports Efe.
With the victory, AC Milan equalled Juventus in the number of Supercoppa trophies and exposed some vulnerabilities in the reigning Serie A and Coppa Italia champions. This trophy was Milan's first in the last five years.


After the win, Milan head coach Vincenzo Montella told his club's TV: "I told the boys to play without fear, because only those who believe themselves to be the strongest take home the result, and today they did so.
"This is really a great victory, deserved and hard fought. We had that bit of luck when Dybala missed in front of goal, but I am relly happy for these boys, for (club CEO Galliani) and for the President (Silvio Berlusconi). We are creating a solid basis for the future. I am really pleased."


Juventus, coming into the match off the back of four straight wins in all competitions, were the much stronger team in the early going. The defending champions took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute thanks to Giorgio Chiellini, who beat Donnarumma with a thunderous header off a Miralem Pjanic corner.


Ineffectual on the attack for the first third of the match, AC Milan gained confidence as the minutes passed and pulled level with a goal in the 38th minute, as Giacomo Bonaventura surprised veteran Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon with a header off a cross from Suso.


It was the seventh headed goal conceded this season by Juventus, who have boasted the best defence in Serie A over the past five years.
The stage was set for an exciting, high-tempo second half, but the respective goalkeepers outdid the strikers.