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Soccer PIX: Lazio beat Juve to win Italian Supercup

December 23, 2019 11:07 IST

Lazio's Senad Lulic and teammates celebrate winning the Italian Super Cup after defeating Juventus at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday

IMAGE: Lazio's Senad Lulic and teammates celebrate winning the Italian Super Cup after defeating Juventus at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Photograph: Ahmed Yosri/Reuters

Lazio beat Juventus 3-1, their second win over the Turin giants in little more than two weeks, to win the Italian Supercup on Sunday, the annual meeting between the Coppa Italia winners and Serie A champions.

 

Second-half goals from Senad Lulic and Danilo Cataldi won the match which was being played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the second year running.

Lazio also beat Juventus 3-1 in Serie A on December 7, handing their opponents their first defeat under coach Maurizio Sarri.

Lazio, the Coppa Italia victors, went ahead after 17 minutes when Sergei Milinkovic-Savic laid the ball off for Luis Alberto to fire into the net.

Paulo Dybala levelled for the Serie A champions at the end of the first-half from a rebound after Cristiano Ronaldo's shot was parried by Thomas Strakosha.

Juventus seemed to be in control in the second half and Ronaldo was close with a shot which went just over but they were caught out when Marco Parolo's cross flew across the face of goal and Lulic volleyed in at the far post in the 73rd minute.

Juventus had midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur sent off in stoppage time and Cataldi curled the resulting free kick into the net with the last action of the game.

The Supercup final is often played abroad and has also been hosted in China, the United States, Libya and Qatar.

Real Madrid frustrated by Athletic and fall behind Barca

Athletic Bilbao's Unai Nunez clears the ball from the goal line during the match against Real Madrid in Spain on Sunday

IMAGE: Athletic Bilbao's Unai Nunez clears the ball from the goal line during the match against Real Madrid in Spain on Sunday. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Real Madrid hit the woodwork three times but could only draw 0-0 at home to Athletic Bilbao in a frustrating final game of 2019 which meant they slipped two points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Real's top scorer Karim Benzema had a shot cleared off the line in a lively first half while Toni Kroos came within inches of scoring when he waltzed through the defence and hammered a shot which Athletic keeper Unai Simon deflected on to the bar.

Substitute Nacho Fernandez rattled the bar in the second half while Serbian forward Luka Jovic left Simon flat-footed with a late header but watched as the ball bounced off the post and Sergio Ramos scuffed the rebound back at the goalkeeper.

Athletic, who beat champions Barca earlier this season, gave an astute performance in defence and also gave their hosts a few scares, with Kenan Kodro having a goal ruled out for offside and Inaki Williams forcing Thibaut Courtois to make a diving save.

It was Real's third draw in a row after 1-1 and 0-0 stalemates away to Valencia and Barca respectively, games in which they also played well but lacked composure in front of goal.

"I feel bad for the players because of the effort they put in. We are annoyed that we couldn't score with all the chances we had," Real coach Zinedine Zidane told reporters.

"The ball isn't going in for us at the moment but there's no need to be pessimistic. We have to remember this has been a good season for us. We've had a little bit of a sour ending to the year but we can't wait for 2020 to start."

Zidane's side are second in the standings on 37 points after 18 games, two behind Barca who beat Alaves 4-1 on Saturday. Athletic are seventh with 28.

Napoli end barren run with stoppage-time winner at Sassuolo

Napoli ended an eight-match winless run in Serie A and gave new coach Gennaro Gattuso his first victory on Sunday when they came from behind to win 2-1 at Sassuolo with a stoppage-time own goal from Pedro Obiang.

Sassuolo went ahead through 19-year-old Hamed Junior Traore in the 29th minute and should have added to their tally as eighth-placed Napoli gave a ragged first-half display and were jeered off by their fans.

But the visitors improved dramatically after halftime. Allan equalised in the 57th minute and, after a spell of sustained pressure, Obiang turned the ball into his own goal following a corner in the fifth minute of added time to give Napoli their first league win since Oct. 19.

"We made a lot of mistakes in the first half, in the second half we started to do what I want to do with more organised pressure," said Gattuso, who replaced Carlo Ancelotti earlier this month and saw his team lose 2-1 at home to Parma in his first match.

"I'm not a magician, I don't think we've solved all our problems but the team are alive, they are trying to work in a different way."

Napoli were pitiful in the first-half as they repeatedly lost possession and gifted a flurry of chances to the hosts.

Manuel Locatelli saw a header cleared off the Napoli line by Mario Rui, Alfred Duncan's powerful effort was saved by Alex Merets and a Giorgos Kyriakopoulos shot fizzed past the post before Traore broke the deadlock with a volley from Locatelli's cross.

Jeremie Boga and Mert Muldur missed further chances after the break for Sassuolo before Napoli equalised with one of their few coherent moves until that point.

A clever dummy by Arkadiusz Milik allowed Piotr Zielinski's pass to find Allan on the edge of the area and the Brazilian turned his marker and fired into the top corner.

Jose Callejon thought he had won the game for Napoli in the 84th minute only to see the goal chalked off because his knee was offside but Napoli were not to be denied.

A corner was headed on at the near post and Obiang, under pressure from Eljif Elmas, turned the ball in at the far post.

"It's disappointing but we are struggling to take that extra step, we should have finished the first half more than one goal ahead," said Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi.

"We also needed to be smarter in the last few minutes."

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