Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri was delighted with “unlucky” Cristiano Ronaldo after the superstar missed a penalty in the Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan.
Ronaldo rattled the post with a 16th-minute penalty as Juve drew 0-0 to 10-man Milan at home on Friday’s second leg on his way to the Coppa Italia final.
In February ‘s opening leg before the coronavirus pandemic, Juve’s Ronaldo scored a penalty to save a 1-1 draw to Milan, but he was unable to repeat the feat behind closed doors in Turin.
Speaking to Rai Sport after the first professional match in Italy since the outbreak of the Covid-19, Sarri said: “I asked Ronaldo to take on a more central role, he was happy to try it out and he was playing the game he needed at this point. He probably isn’t used to missing a penalty, so it could go anywhere and he was unlucky hitting the inside of the post. I don’t think to play him a few meters further one way or another would make such a good player a big difference. Everybody had a quick 30-minute opening and then faded away.”
Series A champions Juve will face either Napoli or Inter in the Coppa Italia final in Rome on June 17 and Sarri added: “Clearly after three months, getting back to the touchline and seeing the teams out there is a good feeling, even if without the fans it’s not the same thing. I was very surprised and satisfied with our opening for 30 minutes, as we moved the ball so fast and dominated the game completely, even before the red card.”
“We gradually lowered our pace, speed, and mental toughness afterward, but that’s a risk in an empty stadium. We ‘d been doing so well, playing one and two-touch football, but then we slowed down and lost some sharpness, concentrating more on individual movements and taking two touches,” he added.