Milan beat Juventus in Super Cup as Donnarumma, Suso lead the charge
AC Milan prevailed in a heavyweight tussle with Juventus for the Italian Super Cup in Doha on Friday. The two sides were inseparable after 120 minutes, with Giorgio Chiellini and Giacomo Bonaventura finding the back of the net to leave it at 1-1 before penalties decided the clash.
A huge save from Gianluigi Donnarumma and a superb spot-kick from Mario Pasalic saw the Rossoneri over the line as Vincenzo Montella lifted his first trophy as Milan boss.
On the balance of play, Milan deserved to win this game in normal time. After overcoming a slow start, the Rossoneri took control of the encounter and created many chances, as they proved equal to the best team in Italy.
There was another slow start from Milan and on another day, they could have paid for it. While creating those chances mentioned above was a positive, not taking them was very much a negative as the game arguably shouldn't have had to go to penalties.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- There were few complaints with Montella's line-up while he organised his players and woke them up after a poor opening 20 minutes. Could have made his changes sooner with players tiring, but managed the game well and saw Milan over the line.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Donnarumma, 8 -- Produced some stellar stops during the game, notably to deny Sami Khedira and Stefano Sturaro. However, he saved the best for last as his stunning save to stop Paulo Dybala's spot-kick was pivotal as Milan went on to win the trophy.
DF Ignazio Abate, 7 -- Did struggle at times from a defensive perspective and was slow to get to the ball, but improved as the game went on and put in a huge shift. The captain made some timely interventions and was an energetic presence up and down the right flank.
DF Gabriel Paletta, 7 -- Excellent reading of the game and was always tough in the tackle to let Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic know he was around. Another solid display that was crucial to Milan's overall defensive performance.
DF Alessio Romagnoli, 7 -- Almost bagged himself a goal but saw his header crash off the crossbar. However, that doesn't take away from another mature performance with few errors. Looks really assured next to Paletta and the pair work really well together.
DF Mattia De Sciglio, 6 -- Not as much of an attacking presence as Abate, and will need to improve on that aspect in the New Year. However, he did remain resolute defensively and allowed Juve little joy down their right flank.
MF Juraj Kucka, 7 -- Covered every part of the pitch with another tireless display, crucial in giving Milan protection in midfield and biting into challenges. Lacked quality in possession as he gave the ball away on countless occasions but was integral to his team's success.
MF Manuel Locatelli, 6 -- Anonymous early on as he couldn't get into the rhythm of the game but warmed to it and started putting himself about, which was good to see. Kept it simple to keep Milan ticking over in possession and moving up the field. Overall, a decent effort from the teenager.
MF Andrea Bertolacci, 6 -- It was a similar night to Kucka for the Italian, in that he offered great energy and protection in midfield but lacked quality in the final third to make a difference. Given he's still working his way back to full match fitness, it was a positive effort as Montella looks set to give him a run in the team.
FW Suso, 8 -- Starting with a criticism, he was poor defensively as he didn't track back and left Abate exposed too often. However, from an attacking perspective, he gave Patrice Evra nightmares and provided a superb assist for Bonaventura's goal. Showed his quality in the final third and set the standard for what supporters expect from him for the remainder of the season.
FW Carlos Bacca, 5 -- In his defence, he fought hard and came up against two tough operators in Chiellini and Daniele Rugani. However, they can't be blamed for his poor finishing when he did have chances, and he'll be more disappointed than anyone else that he wasn't able to wrap things up well before penalties.
FW Giacomo Bonaventura, 8 -- Similar to many of his teammates, he struggled in the early part of the game as he was too isolated. However, he improved dramatically after scoring and was a constant problem for Juve with his probing runs on and off the ball. Showed his class yet again.
MF Mario Pasalic, 7 -- Added some freshness to the midfield at a crucial time, albeit without making a huge impression on the game. However, he scored the winning penalty with a sumptuous spot-kick and he can be pleased with his overall contribution to the win.
DF Luca Antonelli, NR -- Did well in extra-time to help Milan keep things tight at the back and added some energy down the left.
FW Gianluca Lapadula, NR -- Worked hard but didn't really have time or the service to do much. Will be disappointed to have missed his penalty in the shootout, but fortunate that it didn't prove to be costly.
Sumeet Paul covers AC Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @SP_Calcio.