‘We’ll see a great Juventus and a great Cristiano Ronaldo again’: Leonardo Bonucci defends team-mate after penalty miss as Bianconeri reach Coppa Italia final on away goals after draw with AC Milan
- Cristiano Ronaldo missed a 16th minute penalty during a 0-0 draw with AC Milan
- Ante Rebic then put his studs into Danilo’s chest seconds after Ronaldo’s miss
- Ronaldo’s goal at the San Siro in February helped Juventus reach the final
- Leonardo Bonucci defended his Juventus team-mate following the game
Leonardo Bonucci has leapt to the defence of Juventus team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese superstar missed a penalty against AC Milan.
On the team’s return to action, Ronaldo struck the post with a 16th minute penalty as Juventus drew 0-0 at home to 10-man AC Milan in Turin.
It was still a positive result for the Bianconeri as they reached the final of the Coppa Italia on away goals, after drawing 1-1 at the San Siro back on February 13.
Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty on his return to action after the coronavirus pandemic
Ronaldo’s 16th-minute penalty hit the woodwork as Juventus were held to a 0-0 draw
Leonardo Bonucci defended his team-mate as Juventus still reached the Coppa Italia final
Despite Ronaldo’s disappointing return to the pitch, Bonucci defended his team-mate during his post-match interview.
As reported by Goal, Bonucci told Rai Sport: ‘Even the greatest miss (penalties). Cristiano is always important for us.
‘He increases the pressure on opponents’ defenders. He was unfortunate today and (AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi) Donnarumma did well.
‘We’ll see a great Juventus and a great Ronaldo again.’
Despite his miss, it was a penalty from Ronaldo that salvaged a 1-1 draw against AC Milan in February that proved crucial.
Juventus were unable to kill off the game despite Ante Rebic getting sent off just seconds after Ronaldo’s penalty miss for a wild kung-fu kick on Danilo.
It was the Bianconeri’s first game since a 2-0 win over title rivals Inter Milan back on March 8.
Ante Rebic was sent off for AC Milan seconds after Ronaldo’s penalty hit the woodwork
Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri also backed Ronaldo after the game. He said: ‘I asked Ronaldo to take a more central role, he was pleased to try it out and he played the game he needed to at this moment.
‘He probably isn’t accustomed to missing a penalty, so hitting the inside of the post it could go anywhere and he was unlucky.
‘I don’t think playing him a few metres more one way or another is going to make a huge difference to such a strong player. Everyone had a strong opening 30 minutes and then faded away.’
Ronaldo has scored 25 goals this season and will hope to find the mark during next week’s final
Ronaldo has scored 25 goals this season, and will be hoping to add many more as Juventus are still in contention of winning a treble.
They will face either Napoli or Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia final in Rome on June 17.
Maurizio Sarri’s side then restart their Serie A campaign away to Bologna on June 22 and they are one point clear of Lazio with 12 games left to go.
They are also still in the Champions League which looks set to resume in August, but need to overcome 1-0 deficit after losing away at Lyon in the first-leg.
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