Ronaldo gives Juve edge in controversial Supercoppa final

ROME – A Cristiano Ronaldo header was enough to seal a second straight Supercoppa trophy for Juventus, a match widely criticised for being played in Saudi Arabia.

 The Portuguese forward’s 16th goal of the season in all competitions broke the deadlock against 2018 Coppa Italia runners-up AC Milan after 61 minutes and was enough to bring Juve their first silverware of the 2018-19 campaign.

 Milan had Franck Kessie sent off shortly after Ronaldo’s opener, all-but ending their hopes of finding an equaliser. Striker Gonzalo Higuain, allegedly a transfer target for Chelsea, started as a substitute in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but was brought on in the second half by manager Gennaro Gattuso. The Argentine, who is currently on loan from Juventus, wasn’t able to breakthrough his parent club’s robust defence.

 The fixture received a lot of criticism, notably from AC Milan fanatic Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who said in the build-up to the match, “I will not watch the game as a way of protesting.” Salvini took particular exception to the fact that women in Saudi Arabia are only allowed to attend sports events when accompanied by men.