Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the game as Juventus beat AC Milan 1-0 in Jeddah to secure their first piece of silverware in 2019.
It may not have been the most spectacular of matches but it was keenly fought and enjoyed by the 62,000 crowd at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium, who witnessed the Bianconeri lift the Italian Super Cup for a record eighth time.
Massimiliano Allegri brought Joao Cancelo back into the starting line-up, with Douglas Costa in front of him on the right of a three-pronged attack, together with Paulo Dybala and Ronaldo.
Gennaro Gattuso went with a 4-3-3 formation and picked Patrick Cutrone in attack, leaving out Gonzalo Higuain.
Juve almost took the lead with their first chance as Cancelo danced his way into a shooting position and struck a curling effort just wide, while AC Milan responded with a header from Hakan Calhanoglu.
Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 19th Goal in cup Final, amazing amazing Header. Juventus lead 1-0.pic.twitter.com/HGWHOjaxSJ
— Hamza (@Ronaldoversesx) January 16, 2019
The Rossoneri were playing a more direct brand of football with Juve building their play more slowly and it made for an entertaining encounter.
The Bianconeri’s best moves came through Douglas Costa and Cancelo and the Portuguese angled a shot wide around the 15-minute mark.
The tempo slowed as the half wore on and not much happened until the 40th minute, apart from a Douglas Costa break forward, a Giorgio Chiellini effort that finished just off target and a Blaise Matuidi goal ruled out for a clear offside.
Then Allegri inverted Douglas Costa and Dybala, with the Brazilian switching to the left, and Juve almost took the lead: the cross came in and Ronaldo saw his acrobatic effort bounce down in front of Gigio Donnarumma and over the bar.
AC Milan had another chance before the half was out when the ball rather fortuitously found its way to Calhanoglu, but the Turk’s left-footed finish was saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
Gattuso’s side emerged from the interval fired up and within minutes had Cutrone rattled the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the box. The pace of the game seemed to have picked up a notch and the teams were occasionally getting stretched.
The deadlock was broken on the hour mark when Miralem Pjanic floated a delightful ball into the area for Ronaldo, who timed his run to perfection and nodded past Donnarumma.
Milan were reduced to ten men in the second half. Franck Kessie put his studs into Emre Can’s leg and, after consulting with VAR, the referee pulled out the red card.