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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

August 13, 2017: Juventus Lazio 2-3 Super Coppa

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Tales of the unexpected as Lazio triumph


Dybala equalises in injury time but young boy Murgia sends Lazio to paradise



Official SS Lazio photo

The season so far


This was the Italian Supercup final. The previous season Juventus had won the double but Lazio, as losing Coppa Italia finalists (0-2), gained the right to go for almost immediate revenge.


Lazio's main changes since that defeat were incoming Lucas Leiva (Liverpool), Felipe Caicedo (Espanyol), Adam Marusic (Oostende), Luiz Felipe (back from loan-Salernitana) and outgoing Lucas Biglia (Milan) and Keita Balde (Monaco) plus Danilo Cataldi (on loan - Benevento). Lazio spent about 14 million Euros and took in about 65. The manager was still Simone Inzaghi.


Juventus, reigning league and cup champions, had kept on manager Massimiliano Allegri. The Zebras' main novelties coming in were keeper Wojciech Szczęsny (Arsenal), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Rodrigo Bentancur (Boca Juniors), Douglas Costa (on loan-Bayern Munich), Blaise Matuidi (PSG) and Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina). Total expenditure over 100 million Euros. Leaving, amongst others, were Leonardo Bonucci (Milan) and Mario Lemina (Southampton). The money coming in from transfers was about 65 million Euros.


Juventus obviously operated at a different level and were strong favourites this evening, especially as Lazio had lost the last ten consecutive games against "La Vecchia Signora" and had not scored against them in 7 matches, since 2015 ... for an aggregate of 1-20 to Juve. Lazio had several reasons for revenge tonight. For Juventus it was their first official game since the 1-4 Champions League defeat against Real Madrid in Cardiff.


The match: Sunday, August 13, 2017, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


A 60,000-crowd gathered on this mid-August evening, a fair share obviously Juventini with their ten million fan base.


The Bianconeri came out flying and had three chances in the first five minutes. First Alex Sandro went down the left wing and into the area putting in a low cross which found Juan Cuadrado unmarked a couple of metres in front of Thomas Strakosha but the Albanian somehow managed to get a foot to it and put it onto the post and out for a corner. The Lazio keeper then saved again from Paulo Dybala and a Gonzalo Higuain shot from just outside the area.


After this initial burst however Juventus slowed down and Lazio grew into the game. Lazio seemed to have an extra man in the two phases, with Luis Alberto putting in a good shift both in midfield and up front. Juventus were suddenly in difficulty, Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira too slow and the forwards too isolated.


Lazio's increasing confidence was rewarded just after the half hour mark. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic anticipated Cuadrado and sent a perfect low through ball to Ciro Immobile, putting Ciro one-on-one with Buffon. He went around the Italian national keeper and was pulled down or looked for the contact… it is not easy to say; the fact is the referee blew for a penalty and booked Buffon. Immobile scored the spot kick with a powerful low and angled shot, despite the keeper going the right way, so after 32 minutes, Lazio 1 Juventus 0.

Lazio insisted and followed the goal up with more chances. One was brilliant. Luis Alberto chipped the ball to Milinkovic-Savic just inside the area on the right and the big Serb back-heeled it superbly to the oncoming Dušan Basta who took it forward slightly and blasted a shot but it was saved by Buffon. The ball then spun straight out of the area where it was picked up by Lucas Leiva who controlled it and let off a central missile that Buffon managed to tip over the bar. Halftime Score Lazio 1 Juventus 0.


A well deserved lead for the Romans who after a rocky first five minutes had been by far the better team.


The teams came back on unchanged. At the beginning of the second half Lazio scored again. In the 54th minute a Marco Parolo cross from the right was met by Immobile who out jumped Medhi Benatia and Andrea Barzagli and headed over and past Buffon. Lazio 2 Juventus 0.

At this point Allegri had to change something and opted for Mattia De Sciglio for Benatia and Douglas Costa for Cuadrado. Lazio pushed on with their starting XI.


Lazio were in control and almost got a third. Senad Lulic squared a ball into Immobile in front of goal but Buffon despite his age was quick to come out and dive down low at Ciro's feet just before he could get a shot in.


With about fifteen minutes to go both sides made substitutions. For Juventus in the 72nd minute Federico Bernardeschi came on for an impalpable Mario Mandzukic. For Lazio in the 74th minute Adam Marusic and Jordan Lukaku replaced Basta and Lulic while in the 80th Alessandro Murgia came on for Leiva. No-one at this point could ever have imagined how important Lukaku and Murgia would prove to be. It was more a question of hanging on for the last ten minutes.


Lazio's decision or necessity to merely hold on backfired. Juventus, especially with Douglas Costa were increasingly threatening despite having no massive chances. In the 85th minute they won a free kick on the edge of the box which Dybala wonderfully curled around the wall and found the net. Lazio 2 Juventus 1.


Lazio clung on but in the 91st minute Juventus were awarded a penalty. A fifty fifty ball between Alex Sandro and Marusic was reached a fraction earlier by the Brazilian who then went down, for Mr. Massa it was a foul. Dybala stepped up and coolly put a perfect mid-height penalty to Strakosha's right. Lazio 2 Juventus 2.


Extra time on the cards and Juventus surely in the driving seat now… but football games are full of twists, turns and tales of the unexpected.


In the 93rd minute Luis Alberto fed Lukaku on the left and the big Belgian powered forward, going past De Sciglio towards the by-line. What happened next was a sublime combination of strength and agility as the "Sinjoren" nimbly cut in from the wing somehow keeping his balance, leaving De Sciglio behind and squaring a low ball back to the penalty spot. Who was there Immobile, Luis Alberto, Milinkovic-Savic? No, Alessandro Murgia became a Lazio hero for life by stretching and slotting a low right foot past Buffon, under the Curva Nord. Lazio 3 Juventus 2.

By the time all the players and staff had come back from their celebratory travels under the Curva Nord, there was barely time to continue before the referee whistled the end.


Absolute mayhem in the Lazio sectors and, as I remember, in my family living room ... An epic final went Lazio's way just when it seemed it had cruelly slipped away, against an opponent Lazio were more desperate than ever to beat. The match has become known as "La Supercoppa di Murgia" which is a good sign as it shows Lazio have won others (the next one, and 5th in total, came in 2019, again against Juventus, this time 3-1).


Who played for Juventus

Buffon, Barzagli, Benatia (56' De Sciglio), Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Khedira, Pjanic, Cuadrado (56' Douglas Costa), Dybala, Mandzukic (72' Bernardeschi), Higuain

Substitutes: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Lichtsteiner, Asamoah, Bentancur, Sturaro, Marchisio, Kean

Manager: Allegri


Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Vargic, Guerrieri, Hoedt, Luiz Felipe, Patric, Di Gennaro, Felipe Anderson, Palombi, Caicedo

Manager: S. Inzaghi


Referee: Massa


Goals: 32' Immobile (pen), 54' Immobile, 85' Dybala, 91' Dybala (pen), 93' Murgia


What happened next


Before the market closure Lazio added two promising young Portuguese players, Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordão (both from Braga) and former Manchester United legend Nani on loan from Valencia. Wesley Hoedt left for Southampton. In January Martin Caceres arrived (Verona) and Mauricio left (Legia Warsaw).


Lazio finished 5th in the league after 21 wins (including Juve away), 9 draws (including Roma 0-0) and 8 defeats (including Juve 0-1 at home and Roma 1-2). They were 4th going into the last match needing a point to qualify for the Champions League but lost 2-3 to Inter at home. The Biancocelesti reached the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia (Milan on penalties after a 0-0 aggregate) and the quarterfinals of the Europa League (5-6 Salzburg on aggregate). Top scorer was Ciro Immobile with 41 goals (29 in the league).


For Juventus before the Serie A season Moise Kean left (on loan -Verona) while in January Marko Pjaca left (on loan - Schalke 04).


In the league it was back to business as usual for the Old Lady. Juventus won their 34th Scudetto and also won the Coppa Italia (Milan 4-0). In the Champions League they reached the quarterfinals but were controversially knocked out by Real Madrid with a 98th minute Ronaldo penalty (3-4 on aggregate). Their top scorer was Dybala with 26 goals (22 in the league).


Lazio 2017-18

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

21

9

8

89

Coppa Italia

4

2

2

-

5

Europa League

12

7

2

3

26

Super Coppa

1

1

-

-

3

Total

55

31

13

11

123

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

Strakosha

53

38

4

10

1

Leiva

50

36

4

9

1

Lulic

50

35

4

10

1

Milinkovic-Savic

48

35

4

8

1

de Vrij

47

36

3

7

1

Immobile

47

33

4

9

2

Luis Alberto

47

34

3

9

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

Immobile

41

29

2

8

2

Milinkovic-Savic

14

12

-

2

-

Luis Alberto

12

11

-

1

-

Felipe Anderson

8

4

1

3

-

de Vrij

7

6

-

1

-

Let's talk about Alessandro Murgia


Official SS Lazio photo

Alessandro Murgia was born in Rome, on August 9, 1996.


At a very young age, in 2001, he joined local club C.S Colombo and then in 2012 arrived at Lazio. In 2013 he was added to the "Primavera" squad (U19's) coached by Simone Inzaghi. He played three seasons winning two Italian Cups and a Super Cup. He played a total of 95 games with 25 goals.


In 2016, Simone Inzaghi, who in the meantime had become Lazio head coach, called him up to the first team squad. He made his debut at 20 on September ‘17 in a 3-0 home win against Pescara. His first goal came on October 26 in a 2-2 away draw against Torino. He made a total of 18 appearances with 2 goals. Lazio finished 5th and were runners-up in the Coppa Italia (Juventus 0-2). He also won his first derby, 3-1.


The 13th of August 2017 would see the high point of his Lazio and probably entire career. In the Italian Super Cup against Juventus he scored a 93rd minute winner, at the Curva Nord end, giving Lazio their 4th title. Over the season he played 27 games with 2 goals. He also made his debut in Europe scoring the winner in a 3-2 victory over Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem. Lazio finished 5th again.


The following season he only played 1 league game and 3 in Europa League before being loaned in January to SPAL in Serie A. He played under Leonardo Semplici and made 15 league appearances. The "Estensi" finished 13th, after 11 wins (including Roma twice, Lazio and Juventus), 9 draws and 18 defeats (including Lazio 1-4).


In 2019 he stayed in Ferrara and SPAL decided to sign him in part of the deal that brought Manuel Lazzari to Lazio. He played 25 league games and 3 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Lecce). Leonardo Semplici was replaced by Gigi Di Biagio after 23 games and the Biancazzurri were relegated to Serie B, after 5 wins (including Lazio), 5 draws and 28 defeats (including Lazio 1-5 and Roma 1-6).


He followed SPAL down a division and, under Pasquale Marino first (1-29) and then Massimo Rastelli, finished 9th. He played 23 league games with 1 goal (Vicenza again 3-2...) and 4 in the Coppa Italia.


In 2021 after playing 1 league game and 1 in the cup for SPAL, in August he was loaned to Perugia in Serie B. The manager was Massimiano Alvini and Murgia only played 4 league games and all as a Substitute ... The "Grifoni" finished 8th.


In 2022 he was back with the Spallini in Ferrara, still in Serie B. The Biancazzurri had a dismal season going through three managers; Roberto Venturato (1-8), Daniele De Rossi (9-24) and Massimo Oddo (25-38). They finished 19th and were relegated to Lega Pro. Murgia played 10 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia.


He has played for Italy at various levels: 6 games for the U18's, 4 for the U19's and 14 for the U21's with 1 goal (Albania).


Murgia is a midfielder. He is 1.85 and 78 kilos. He is however not a particularly physical player but dynamic with a good tackle and header. He was considered a promising talent in his youth but has not become the player one had hoped. In my opinion he was without any real standout qualities in the sense he could do everything okay but nothing particularly well or not well enough for top-level football. I also had the impression he was sometimes lacking in character and grit.


At Lazio however he has left his mark on history. His name will never be forgotten, it is linked to one of Lazio's most exciting and dramatic trophy victories. Just for that goal he has his name engraved in stone.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

2016-17

18 (2)

14 (2)

4

-

-

2017-18

27 (2)

16

1

9 (1)

1 (1)

2018-Jan 2019

4

1

-

3

-

Total

49 (4)

31 (2)

5

12 (1)

1 (1)

Sources


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