Giorgio Chiellini tried in vain to bail out mediocre Juventus in Supercoppa
A match void of quality or intensity, Juventus scored the first goal but ended up losing on penalties to allow AC Milan to lift the Supercoppa trophy on Friday.
The Bianconeri started the match well, cutting off the supply for Milan's attack and creating chances of their own. However, after Milan's equaliser and the subsequent injury to Alex Sandro, the Rossoneri were on the ascendency, demonstrating why youthful exuberance can be a burden to cope with when you're an exhausted side.
Juventus looked worse for wear in the second half, lacking the girt and energy to cope with Suso & Co., yet Milan's inefficiency forced the game into extra time. With Juventus struggling and incapable of making the most of their own opportunities, the game went to penalties and Mario Pasalic struck the winning goal.
Juventus lacked desire, energy and their famous winning mentality so hardly any positives to note but one person that deserves a little praise is Giorgio Chiellini. His performances in recent times have not been up to his usual standards, but against Milan he was the warrior Juve always relied on. He scored an outstanding goal and proved vital at the back, cutting out important crosses and ensuring Carlos Bacca had a miserable night. Without him, Milan may have proved more efficient going forward.
No Sandro, no party. The Brazilian may not be the best defender in the world, but he is certainly one of the most dynamic and capable wing-backs we have seen in Italy for some time. Boasting energy and dynamism, he can dominate the left-hand lane, create opportunities and simultaneously peg the opponent back. His injury changed the game and the team do not have an adequate replacement for him. Patrice Evra, as he proved on the night, is no longer up for the task at hand and Juve will hope they can recover Sandro quickly.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Two of Max Allegri's substitutions were forced into service rendering him unable to impact the match with his usual effective solutions. The side lacked balance and their usual desire but still only lost on penalties. Cannot be blamed for the result.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Gianluigi Buffon, 7 -- Wonderful performance. Alert and aware, he perfectly halted Bacca and saved Gianluca Lapadula's penalty.
DF Stephan Lichtsteiner, 5 -- Not his night. Perhaps lucky to escape a red card, Lichtsteiner struggled to push forward and failed to halt Milan's attack, losing Giacomo Bonaventura to concede a goal.
DF Daniele Rugani, 6 -- A mistake here and there, but the youngster played with composure and intelligence.
DF Giorgio Chiellini, 7 -- Best on the pitch, the defender scored an outstanding goal, blocked shots, made vital clearances and did all he could to ensure safety at the back. Delivered some accurate long balls too.
DF Alex Sandro, 6 -- Pushed forward admirably well, offering an outlet on the left even though he lacked accuracy on occasion. Left the game early due to injury.
MF Sami Khedira 6 -- Struck a perfect penalty in the shootout. Boasting tactical intelligence and desire, he played a good game and sacrificed for the team and was denied a goal by Gianluigi Donnarumma. Struggled toward the end.
MF Claudio Marchisio, 6 -- Intelligence, sacrifice and hard work, Marchisio tried to contain the opponent, attempted to give balance and executed his passes perfectly. Manages the basics so well.
MF Stefano Sturaro, 6 -- After some mediocre performances, Sturaro is clearly growing. Played a good first half to deny Milan with grit and determination. Struggled thereafter.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 5 -- Looked off colour, the player moved slowly and failed to inspire. He's clearly not playing at optimum levels after the knock he suffered against Roma.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, 5 -- Practically absent and not in tune with the Juve game, Higuain failed to do anything for much of the time.
FW Mario Mandzukic, 6 -- Always admirable to watch when he works for the team, defending from the top and exhausting the opponent, but he struggled to provide those energy levels for the entirety of the game. Struck a terrible penalty.
DF Patrice Evra, 4 -- Disastrous to say the least. Suffered greatly against Suso, with Milan creating all their chances from that lane. One of his worst performances.
FW Paulo Dybala, 5 -- Had an immediate impact on the match as he pushed forward, encouraging attacks. Quickly faded thereafter and struggled to cope with the pressure to score his penalty.
MF Mario Lemina, 5 -- Asked to adapt too often leaving him struggling. Couldn't adequately contain Suso.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.