On Wednesday night, Napoli succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against Juventus in the Italian Super Cup.
It was a hotly disputed match between the two Serie A sides that included a good amount of chances and, even, a few controversial choices from the game’s referee who was forced to use VAR on a couple of separate occasions.
The game proved to be a pretty even affair, until the 64th minute when Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring, taking full advantage of an error in marking.
From this point on, Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso found himself having to make a series of risky choices. One of those was to send in Dries Mertens, not yet fully recovered from injury. This proved to be an inspired choice when mere minutes later the Belgium attacking midfielder succeeded in earning a penalty.
Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne took the spot-kick that initially seemed to fool goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny but then sailed wide of the mark.
Gli Azzuri desperately seeked the equalizer. This left the Serie A champions with plenty of space to exploit. In the 4th minute of stoppage time, power-sub Alvaro Morata, slotted in a goal from the excellent pass provided by Juan Cuadrado.
Juventus win Supercoppa Italiana, the first major Italian trophy of the season. Meanwhile, Napoli will need to soothe their bruised ego quickly. The Partenopei take on Verona in four days in Serie A, followed by a Quarter-Final Coppa Italia duel against Spezia.