Juventus new boys Mandzukic and Dybala sink Lazio to claim Super Cup win
New boys Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala were on target as Juventus beat Lazio 2-0 to win the Italian Super Cup in Shanghai.
Juve set a new record by winning the Supercoppa for the seventh time and as they also did the Double last season, their opponents were included as beaten Coppa Italia Finalists for this Italian version of the Community Shield.
Marco Parolo and Senad Lulic were suspended, while Alvaro Morata, Giorgio Chiellini and Sami Khedira had muscle problems. Andrea Barzagli recovered quicker than expected to start with Kingsley Coman preferred to Dybala. Paul Pogba made his debut in the new No 10 jersey.
There was controversy over the state of the turf in Shanghai, as it was visibly patchy and bobbly, while conditions were very windy due to the typhoon in Taiwan. Antonio Candreva caused early difficulties, bursting to the by-line to risk a Barzagli own goal and then just failed to reach Miroslav Klose for the tap-in.
Stephan Lichtsteiner’s sudden screamer from distance sailed over the bar, but overall Juve kept possession at too slow a tempo to make a dent. Pogba was the only one to occasionally make a smart move, combining with Patrice Evra only for Mario Mandzukic’s runs to be anticipated.
Juventus' Paulo Dybala (21) scores a goal during the Italian Super Cup soccer match against Lazio in Shanghai August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Aly SongEurosport
After the restart Pogba created two scoring opportunities in 30 seconds. First he sent Mandzukic clear on goal with a through ball only for the Croatian to fire straight at Federico Marchetti’s feet, then the move continued and Pogba’s scorching strike from 25 metres whistled inches past the far top corner.
Gigi Buffon took the sting out of an Eddy Onazi effort from the edge of the box, but Juventus finally broke through with 21 minutes to go. Stefano Sturaro crossed from the right and Mandzukic leapt above Dusan Basta for a precise header from six yards, his first competitive goal for the Bianconeri.
This also means he has scored in Super Cups in Italy, Spain and Germany.
Buffon was right behind a Felipe Anderson shot on the volley, but Juve doubled their lead with the other summer signing. Mandzukic flew down the right and his cross was only cleared as far as Pogba, who intelligently laid it off for unmarked Dybala to smash under the bar from 12 yards.
Ricardo Kishna made his Lazio debut and Buffon fingertipped a Felipe Anderson cross off his head, then Bonucci performed two decisive blocks from point-blank range on Candreva. On the resulting corner, Filip Djordjevic's header was too weak to beat Buffon.
Dybala was delighted with his goal. "Today felt remarkable, as to score in my first game in a Juve shirt and a Final in this setting was incredible,” he told Rai Sport after a 2-0 result. The club made a big investment for me. With all the confidence the coach and my team-mates put in me, I will try to repay them.
"I dedicate the victory to my family, who is watching from home, and my girlfriend.”
Lazio coach Stefano Pioli admitted the best team won. "Unfortunately the only thing that counted today was the result," he said. "It was a balanced game in difficult conditions for the state of the turf and the wind.
"Compliments to Juventus, a very strong team who deserved to win the Super Cup, but I believe this season we can do great things.”
Juventus 2-0 Lazio
Scorers: Mandzukic 69 (J), Dybala 73 (J)