Lazio Shock Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo to Win Italian Super Cup

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

Lazio's Bosnian midfielder Senad Lulic (L) celebrates after scoring during the Supercoppa Italiana final football match between Juventus and Lazio at the King Saud University Stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 22, 2019. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)
GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty Images

Lazio clinched the Italian Super Cup on Sunday, shocking Juventus 3-1 at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Luis Alberto gave Lazio a deserved lead after they started the quicker of the two sides. Juventus were able to get a crucial foothold in the contest in first-half stoppage time, though, with Paulo Dybala on hand to prod home from close range.

In a scrappy second period, Lazio eventually got back in front thanks to a fantastic goal from Senad Lulic, who hammered home a volley in the 72nd minute. 

A forgetful day for Juventus was compounded in injury time, when midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur was given his marching orders for a second yellow card. Danilo Cataldi's brilliant free-kick then clinched the game for Simone Inzaghi's side:

Despite being the underdogs, Lazio were able to settle the quicker of the two sides and had Juventus pinned back for long spells from kick-off. The opening goal came after a period of sustained possession for the Biancocelesti.

The ball broke to Alberto on the edge of the penalty area, and the midfielder showed excellent composure to stroke the ball into the top corner.

Italian football writer David Amoyal noted Alberto is among the standout players in Italian football at the moment: 

Per The Sportsman, the Lazio star has been one of the most productive players in Serie A in 2019-20: 

Maurizio Sarri had made the decision to start Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in attack for Juventus. As the half went on, the former of that trio started to have a bigger influence on the contest.

Dybala came close to opening the scoring for Juventus in the first period, as he flashed a left-footed shot just wide on the half-hour mark. Then, on the brink of half-time, the Argentina international did find the back of the net, prodding home after Ronaldo's shot was saved by Thomas Strakosha.

Per Italian Football TV, Dybala has an excellent record in the competition against Lazio: 

With Juventus back on level terms, there wasn't the same intensity in their play at the start of the second period, and that made for a cagey second period.

Eventually, it was a moment of supreme quality that got Lazio back in front. A cross was flicked on to the back post, and Lulic arrived on point to thud home a brilliant volley:

Per OptaPaolo, Lulic has netted some big goals for Lazio this year:

Even with Ronaldo and Dybala on the field, Juventus offered little in terms of late pressure, as Lazio dropped into a solid shape and contained their opponents in the final stages.

Strakosha was called into action to palm away a Dybala header, but Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi would have been delighted with the manner in which his side saw the contest out, with Cataldi adding the gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time.

          

What's next? 

The match is the final one of the year before both sides. Lazio are next in action against Brescia on January 5, with Juventus hosting Cagliari a day later.

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