Lazio beats Juventus 3-2 to win Super Cup after wild finale
ROME (AP) Alessandro Murgia scored a last-gasp winner as Lazio beat Juventus 3-2 Sunday to win the Italian Super Cup after a wild end to the match.
Two goals from Ciro Immobile, including an opening penalty, had seemingly set Lazio on the way to a comfortable win. But Paulo Dybala netted a stunning free kick in the 85th minute and converted a penalty in the first minute of stoppage time.
The match appeared to be heading for extra time before youth academy graduate Murgia, who had come on as an 80th-minute substitute, scored the winner.
”I’m happy, and very emotional,” said Murgia, who turned 21 on Wednesday. ”It was hard because they levelled at the end, but we never give up. We believed right until the end and we are really happy.
”We are a united squad, we are a group, and that’s how you get victories.”
The result goes some way to avenging Lazio’s defeat to Juventus in the Italian Cup final in May.
”Credit to the lads for what they did and deserved,” Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said. ”We wanted revenge after the Italian Cup defeat and we had a perfect game … everyone gave everything.”
Juventus starts its search for a seventh straight Serie A title at home to Cagliari on Saturday, the day before Lazio hosts newly promoted Spal.
”Lazio deserved the win, because they played better, they fought much more,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. ”Apart from the final 30 minutes, we practically didn’t play and that should make us think, that should bring us back to earth.
”There are no excuses, I hate losing and especially losing like this … It was really an ugly performance and we lost the first objective of the season. The league starts on Saturday and we need to start winning.”
The Italian Super Cup normally pits the league champion against the cup winner, but Juventus had again won the double last season – for the third successive year.
Shortly after that success, Juventus lost a second Champions League final in three seasons, while reports of infighting and the departure of key defender Leonardo Bonucci to Serie A rival AC Milan has made it a difficult offseason for the Italian champion.
Juventus was looking to get back on track in Rome, and started strongly in the traditional curtain-raiser. Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha pulled off a great save to keep out Juan Cuadrado’s effort from close range and denied Gonzalo Higuain moments later in a frantic opening five minutes.
Lazio withstood the pressure and slowly took control of the match before going in front shortly after the half-hour mark.
Immobile was brought down by Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and he dusted himself down to fire the resulting penalty into the bottom right corner.
Lazio almost doubled its lead minutes later but Buffon pulled off a double save to deny first Dusan Basta and then Lucas Leiva.
Lazio did extend its advantage nine minutes into the second half when Marco Parolo whipped in a cross and Immobile sent a looping header into the far corner.
Allegri immediately reacted, bringing on new signings Douglas Costa and Mattia De Sciglio and he later also introduced Federico Bernardeschi.
That had an effect and Dybala got Juventus back into the match when he curled a free kick into the left side of the goal.
Juventus was then given the chance to level when it was awarded a penalty after Adam Marusic tripped Alex Sandro.
Dybala had missed the decisive penalty in the shootout in last year’s Super Cup defeat to Milan but he stepped up and converted.
Another twist was still to come. Three minutes later, Jordan Lukaku went on a winding run before pulling back from the byline for Murgia to smash in the winner.