Kalidou Koulibaly has vowed he and Napoli will come back stronger after the disappointment of losing to Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana.

A 2-0 defeat on Wednesday meant Gennaro Gattuso lost out to former Milan team-mate Andrea Pirlo in the battle of the coaches.

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata came either side of Napoli missing a penalty, with Lorenzo Insigne off target from the spot.

Koulibaly, who has been among Europe's most coveted defenders in recent seasons, says Napoli will not be broken by the disappointment of missing out on the trophy.

The Coppa Italia holders, who beat Juventus on penalties to land that accolade in June, sit third in Serie A, with only Milan and Inter ahead of them.

"A defeat gets even harder to accept on the day after. But it doesn't last long," he wrote on Instagram.

"The desire to fight for new wins is stronger."

Koulibaly attempted more passes (63) and made more clearances (six) than any other Napoli player, with the game decided on fine margins.

Napoli, a point ahead of Juventus in Serie A, are back in league action when they face Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo felt lifting his first silverware as a boss was "more beautiful" than his numerous playing successes.

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata either side of a missed Lorenzo Insigne penalty gave Juve a 2-0 win over Napoli in Reggio Emilia on Wednesday.

Pirlo won the Champions League and World Cup in a decorated playing career but said the feeling of leading a team to a trophy is something different.

"It's a great joy," Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri at the start of the season, told Rai Sport. "Lifting the first trophy as a coach is something different, more beautiful than as a player.

"I'm at the helm of an important team, of a historic club."

That burden looked to be weighing heavily last weekend after a 2-0 defeat at rivals Inter left Serie A champions Juventus 10 points off the pace in the Scudetto race.

"The important thing was to win after the other night's knockout," Pirlo said.

"We wanted to show that we weren't the ones from San Siro. We needed a game of sacrifice."

Pirlo shared a warm embrace with his great friend and Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso before kick-off, remarking this was no time to reprise their infamous history of play fighting and practical jokes.

"Tonight just hugs because we were too focused," he added.

Cristiano Ronaldo believes Juventus' 2-0 Supercoppa Italiana victory over Napoli can bolster their confidence in the fight for the Scudetto.

Ronaldo opened the scoring in Reggio Emilia, netting the 760th goal of his incredible career - a strike that pulled him level with Josef Bican as the greatest goalscorer of all-time according to some estimates.

Substitute Alvaro Morata sealed the first silverware of Andrea Pirlo's tenure with the final kick of the game, although Juve were indebted to a penalty miss by Lorenzo Insigne and two magnificent saves from Wojciech Szczesny.

"It was a difficult match, very difficult, but we had an excellent attitude," Ronaldo told television reporters.

"Winning this cup is very important to gain confidence. We are very happy."

Wednesday's triumph saw Juve bounce back from a dispiriting 2-0 loss at Inter last weekend, a setback that left them 10 points shy of leaders Milan with a game in hand.

"We need a different attitude, we made a mistake with Inter," Ronaldo said.

"But it has passed. The important thing was to win today and it is a very important trophy because it can give us confidence for our growth in view of the next matches."

Naturally, Ronaldo is not giving up on Juventus winning their 10th consecutive Serie A title just yet.

"Milan and Inter are very strong, but the season is still long, a lot of games are left and, yes, I think we can win," he added.

"The road is very difficult but I think it is possible."

Gennaro Gattuso urged Lorenzo Insigne not to blame himself for Napoli's Supercoppa Italiana defeat to Juventus after he missed a chance to equalise from the penalty spot. 

Cristiano Ronaldo's close-range strike in the 64th minute, his 760th goal in professional football, put Juve 1-0 up in Wednesday's clash. 

However, Insigne had a golden chance to restore parity 10 minutes from time after Weston McKinnie felled Dries Mertens in the area.

Insigne sent Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way but shot woefully wide of the left-hand post.

An excellent save from Szczesny then denied Hirving Lozano an injury-time equaliser before Alvaro Morata finished off a rapid Juve break to secure glory for the Bianconeri.

Gattuso refused to pin the blame on Insigne, however, the forward's miss seeing him spurn the chance to score his 100th Napoli goal.

"I have to thank my players, as they did what we needed to. They were a little timid, especially in the first half, but reacted to the goal," Gattuso told RAI Sport.

"These things can happen, I congratulate them on their efforts. We could've done something more perhaps, but we know these situations are difficult.

"In such an important game, you can have a little bad luck and that includes a missed penalty, but the save on Lozano at the 94th minute was incredible.

"We win and lose with everyone in the team, Lorenzo mustn't think we lost because of him, as that's just not true."

A goalless first-half in the Supercoppa Italiana started and finished with Cristiano Ronaldo thumping speculative efforts into the deserted stand behind the goal as he chased a record. Or was it a record?

The most notable Juventus contribution in between was Wojciech Szczesny's incredible point-blank save to stop Hirving Lozano giving Napoli the lead with a flying header.

It was far from the rousing response to Sunday's sound 2-0 defeat at Inter that Andrea Pirlo would have hoped for, even if the same scoreline eventually fell in his favour for the first silverware of a fledgling coaching career.

Gennaro Gattuso, manning the other technical area with his typical demeanour of an overworked nightclub bouncer (remember nightclubs?), is famously firm friends with Pirlo.

After falling short as the overmatched apprentice against a masterful Antonio Conte at the weekend, the hirsute Juve boss would probably have preferred to pit his wits against anyone but the man who arguably knows him better than anyone in football.

They were an irresistible combination of silk and steel in the midfield as Italy won the 2006 World Cup and Milan lifted major prizes at home and abroad, while Pirlo's often cerebral autobiography is peppered with stories of juvenile practical jokes played at the expense of an easily riled Gattuso.

The playmaker was infamously allowed to joined Juventus on a free transfer in 2011, launching a dynasty alongside Conte that he is now charged with preserving,

Pirlo's glorious autumn of his playing career led Gattuso to play down his own influence upon his mate's earlier success in inimitably forthright terms.

"Don’t talk nonsense," he baulked in a 2017 interview when asked if he helped to make Pirlo a better player. "Let’s not confuse Nutella with s***"

Wednesday's encounter in Reggio Emilia was frequently closer to the undesirable end of that Gattuso spectrum, although any goalkeeper would gladly smear Szczesny's intervention to deny Lozano all over their pancakes.

Too often, Pirlo's Juve look like they're wading through a giant tube of chocolate and hazelnut spread. The are stodgy and lack flow - the notion that this team is more attractive than Massimilano Allegri's all-conquering side is fairly laughable.

But after half-time, they rolled up their sleeves in a manner in which Gattuso would have grudgingly approved.

Federico Bernardeschi, on for the ineffective Federico Chiesa, nearly scrambled home untidily shortly after the restart.

Kostas Manolas almost put through his own goal in the 64th minute and, from the resulting corner, Napoli played a crueller prank on their coach than anything Pirlo ever subjected him to. They failed to mark Ronaldo in the six-yard box.

Of course, the master marksman made no mistake and rammed home left footed for the 760th goal of his career. That puts him ahead of the great Josef Bican in some all-time rankings, although FIFA say the Austria and Czechoslovakia great has an "estimated" 805 to his name.

By most observers' best estimates, Lorenzo Insigne was surely going to send the game into extra time by converting an 80th-minute penalty after Weston McKennie's clumsy bundle into substitute Dries Mertens.

Insigne was one of the bright sparks in a drab a game and faced up to his own landmark of 100 Napoli goals. But, in another act worthy of the Pirlo-Gattuso slapstick scrapbook, he scuffed a woeful spot kick wide.

Further Szczesny heroics were required before Juan Cuadrado streaked clear to tee up Alvaro Morata to make it 2-0 win the final kick of the game.

Juventus are not playing beautiful football in their coach's image, far from it. But they celebrated with gusto at full-time having banished the end-of-empire stench that accompanied their efforts against Inter.

Have they turned the corner? Will this spark them into a convincing title defence in Sere A? Much like whether or not Ronaldo has broken another record, plenty of questions remain.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 760th goal in professional football helped deliver Supercoppa Italiana glory for Juventus as they beat Napoli 2-0 after Lorenzo Insigne's penalty miss.

Having seen their aspirations of again retaining the Serie A title dealt a blow by a 2-0 loss to rivals Inter, Juve could have been considered vulnerable to a Napoli side coming off a 6-0 thumping of Fiorentina.

But Andrea Pirlo's men grew into the game in the second half and Ronaldo rewarded their efforts with what proved to be the decisive goal in the 64th minute.

Pirlo's first title as Juve head coach came with a dramatic conclusion, however, Insigne incredibly chipping wide from the spot after Weston McKinnie had felled Dries Mertens before Napoli were caught cold on an injury-time counter and Alvaro Morata's simple finish sealed the Bianconeri's ninth Supercoppa crown.

An open but low-key first half was light on chances until Wojciech Szczesny had to produce a reaction to keep out Hirving Lozano's diving header from Diego Demme's cross in the 28th minute.

Ronaldo went close with a dipping effort from the left side of the box that narrowly cleared the crossbar 12 minutes later and it was Juve who started the second half brighter.

Davide Ospina had to be alert to prevent Federico Bernardeschi from scoring within a minute of his half-time introduction after good work from McKinnie.

Ronaldo then prodded narrowly wide after getting ahead of a throughball from Arthur, but he made no mistake when Bernardeschi's corner deflected into his path, lashing home from point-blank range.

Insigne had a golden chance to erase the deficit 10 minutes from time after Paolo Valeri pointed to the spot following a VAR review. He sent Szczesny the wrong way but shot woefully wide of the left-hand post.

The excellent Szczesny produced a fine 94th-minute save with his legs to deny Insigne and glory for the Bianconeri was sealed as Cuadrado broke free soon after and laid the pass on for Morata to stroke home.

Maurizio Sarri conceded Juventus lacked energy in their 3-1 Supercoppa Italiana defeat to Lazio, but the coach insisted the selection of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain in attack was not to blame.

The Bianconeri were beaten by Lazio for the second time this month, failing to defend their Supercoppa title as Senad Lulic scored one goal and had a hand in another.

The loss in Saudi Arabia came despite Ronaldo, Dybala and Higuain starting together again, as they had in wins over Udinese and Sampdoria.

Yet while acknowledging flaws in Juve's display, Sarri was keen to point out Higuain was substituted and replaced by Aaron Ramsey - a midfielder - with the game still level at 1-1.

"We arrived at this game short of energy, physically and mentally," Sarri told a news conference. "This happens. Meanwhile, Lazio are experiencing a moment of incredible form.

"We are sorry we lost a title, but we still have many competitions to play for in the next five months. There is anger, but crying over it does not solve the problems.

"We did not lose because of the front three, since we conceded the [second and third] goals after I added a midfielder."

After two reverses at the hands of Lazio, Juventus may now find themselves going up against the Rome outfit again in pursuit of the Scudetto.

Lazio are six points behind second-placed Juve in third but with a game in hand.

Sarri said: "I have a positive record against Lazio, and I don't think that the players will be influenced by these two games.

"As I said before the game, I don't think this final can affect the next five months of the league championship."

Senad Lulic was the hero as Lazio secured a 3-1 Supercoppa Italiana triumph over Serie A champions Juventus.

Just over two weeks on from defeating the Bianconeri by the same score in the league, Lazio were once again the scourge of Maurizio Sarri's men in Riyadh.

Experienced captain Lulic was influential, playing a huge part in Luis Alberto's opener and guiding home a second-half strike on the volley after Paulo Dybala had levelled shortly before the break.

Danilo Cataldi scored an unstoppable free-kick, the awarding of which saw Rodrigo Bentancur sent off for a second bookable offence, to round out the win as Lazio, who also defeated Juve in the 2017 Supercoppa, won the prize for the fifth time.

Lazio were ahead after 17 minutes when Lulic did brilliantly to deliver a cross to the back post where Sergej Milinkovic-Savic teed up Luis Alberto to apply the close-range finish.

Juve were stirred by that setback and Cristiano Ronaldo fired wide before Dybala went agonisingly close with a free-kick from the edge of the box.

Lazio's resistance was broken on the stroke of half-time, Dybala tapping in the rebound after Ronaldo's low drive was parried by Thomas Strakosha.

Dybala almost put Juve ahead when he dragged wide just after the break, while Joaquin Correa headed off target from point-blank range from a Lazio corner. 

But Simone Inzaghi's side were back in front after 73 minutes. Marco Parolo flicked on Manuel Lazzari's right-wing cross and Lulic brilliantly finished past Wojciech Szczesny at the back post.

Correa had a breakaway effort ruled out for offside but Cataldi saw a superb free-kick crash in off the underside of the crossbar after Bentancur was dismissed for chopping down Correa in a frantic finish.

What does it mean? Ronaldo, Dybala, Higuain experiment doesn't fully fire

Sarri has faced constant questions from the Italian media this season as to whether he would use Ronaldo, Dybala – who with four goals is now the all-time leading scorer in Supercoppa history – and Gonzalo Higuain in the same starting line-up.

The Supercoppa was the ideal opportunity for that experiment but the trio were often trying to play in the same central spaces, which meant Juve at times lacked width and were a tad one-dimensional.

Lulic leads by example

Lazio, who sit third in Serie A, were organised and well drilled. Lulic was a prime example of that and the skipper made a couple of vital contributions for Inzaghi's side.

Full-backs not firing for Juve

With Sarri having employed Dybala, Ronaldo and Higuain, the onus was on Mattia De Sciglio and Alex Sandro to provide width from full-backs.

Neither man really did that job to great effect and the former was hauled off after 55 minutes for Juan Cuadrado.

What's next?

Juve return to Serie A action with a home clash against Cagliari on January 6, a day after Lazio visit Brescia.

Maurizio Sarri responded to Massimiliano Allegri's claims that tactical systems are irrelevant by joking he hopes Juventus president Andrea Agnelli did not read the interview.

Allegri this week said the tactics that dominate Italian football are "bull****" and the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala should be given a free licence to do as they wish. 

But Sarri, who replaced Allegri as Bianconeri coach in June, insisted the role of a coach is to get the best out of the squad at his disposal.

"I hope the president didn't see that or our wages will suffer a lot," he said at Saturday's news conference. 

"I agree that a coach doesn't need to transform players, but he must have an affect on a team while respecting the characteristics of individual players.

"They are personal opinions, ways of understanding different work."

Juventus are in action for the final time this calendar year on Sunday when they face Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The reigning Serie A champions enter the clash with the Coppa Italia holders on a run of three successive wins in all competitions, and Sarri said he is now starting to enjoy himself in Turin.

"I'm not sure if we have gone forwards or backwards since last season, but lately, in training and in games, I am having fun," he said. 

"That's because the team are playing the way I have asked. If I am enjoying myself, it suggests we have some weaknesses but we can work on them and solve them.

"The goal must always be a feeling of utopia, never being entirely happy and always having something to improve on."

Ronaldo, Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain started together against Udinese and Sampdoria, but Sarri is expecting a different type of test against Lazio, the only team to have inflicted defeat on the Bianconeri this term.

"We have conceded two goals over the last three games, one in the 95th minute," he said. "We are not leaking goals every five minutes, but we are making mistakes.

"We strangely tend to conceded when defending deep, rather than with a high press. I find it difficult to understand, and we need to work and improve on it.

"Lazio are strong physically and tactically - it's incredible they're not in the Champions League. 

"They have one of the strongest midfields in the world, plus [Ciro] Immobile, who has 17 goals in 16 games."

Lazio will need to be perfect if they are to overcome familiar foes Juventus and lift the Supercoppa Italiana, according to Simone Inzaghi.

The meeting between the reigning Serie A champions and the holders of the Coppa Italia takes place in Riyadh on Sunday, with the top-flight rivals doing battle in the one-off contest for a fourth time in seven years.

Lazio won the previous Supercoppa clash in 2017, while they are also the only opponents to defeat Maurizio Sarri's team this season, overturning a first-half deficit to prevail 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico at the start of the month.

However, while they can take confidence from that recent result, head coach Inzaghi is well aware of the size of the task for his players at the King Saud University Stadium.

"We are facing a team that has a great amount of capacity, intensity, and quality. I have told my team that we must remain concentrated," Inzaghi told the media.

"It won't be like a league game. You play for a trophy in one night. You can't make any mistakes because you have two teams that can hurt each other at any time.

"Juventus have great qualities. We will have to be very focused. In the league game, we conceded just the one goal.

"There is obviously no certainty of winning. We have confidence in our work. We face a team that has won the last eight league titles, so we will need the perfect game."

Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Juve in the most recent clash with Lazio, the Portugal forward's strike part of a productive December in terms of goals.

The 34-year-old was on target twice last weekend against Udinese before producing a sensational headed finish in the midweek win over Sampdoria, with that result putting them three points clear of Inter at the top of the table.

"He is a champion who can change the game at any time," Inzaghi said of Ronaldo.

"We have to be on guard, knowing that, on paper, Juve have greater potential. However, all that matters is what happens on the pitch."

Giorgio Chiellini has been named in the Juventus squad for their Supercoppa Italiana clash with Lazio despite continuing his recovery from a knee operation.

The veteran centre-back injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a training session in August and was ruled out for six months after undergoing surgery.

Maurizio Sarri, though, has included Chiellini in a 24-man group for Sunday's game in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The club clarified he would not be available to play, with a statement saying: "Giorgio Chiellini appears on the squad list, although the defender is still not yet available. However, the captain joins his team-mates during the competition as Juve vie for their first trophy of the season."

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and left-back Alex Sandro are also included in the squad despite recent injuries.

Sarri, whose side are top of Serie A, is bidding to win his first trophy since taking charge of Juve this year.

But Coppa Italia winners Lazio go into the Supercoppa Italiana on the back of eight straight Serie A wins.

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