Juve coach Sarri: Cristiano Ronaldo isn't accustomed to missing penalties, he was unlucky

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo grimaces during an Italian Cup second leg soccer match between Juventus and AC Milan at the Allianz stadium, in Turin, Italy, Friday, June 12, 2020. The match was being played without spectators because of the coronavirus lockdown. [AP Photo/Luca Bruno]

Italy’s football action returned on Friday night as lacklustre Juventus were held to a barren draw by AC Milan in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final in Turin.

Cristiano Ronaldo, popularly known as Cr7, missed a golden opportunity to put Juventus ahead in the 16th minute after missing a crucial a penalty.

Juventus, however, cruised into the Coppa Italia final as the season restarted following a three-month stoppage for the novel coronavirus.

The Italian giants qualified for Wednesday’s final (17/06/2020) on away goals following their 1-1 draw in the first leg of the semi-final, played on February 13.

Milan greatly missed the services of veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was out with a calf injury. The 7-time Champions League winners rarely threatened to snatch the goal that would have taken them into the final.

To make matters worse, Croatian Ante Rebic was red-carded after kicking Juve’s Danilo on his chest, forcing the visitors to play for more than 70 minutes with 10 men.

Milan had only one real chance of upsetting the 2-time Champions League winners when Hakan Calhanoglu was close with a diving header early in the second half.

Ronaldo hits the post on a penalty kick as AC Milan goalie Gianluigi Donnarumma dives, during an Italian Cup second leg soccer match between Juventus and AC Milan at the Allianz stadium, in Turin, Italy, Friday, June 12, 2020. [Spada/LaPresse via AP]

Speaking to Rai Sport after the match, Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said he was pleased with Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance despite his big miss.

It was the second penalty Ronaldo missed in two seasons at the club.

"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,” Sarri pointed out.

"Clearly after three months, getting back to the touchline and seeing the teams out there is a good sensation, even if it's not the same without the fans.

"I was very surprised and satisfied with our opening 30 minutes, as we moved the ball so quickly and totally dominated the game, even before the red card.

Referee Daniele Orsato shows a red card to AC Milan's Ante Rebic, 4th from left, during an Italian Cup second leg soccer match between Juventus and AC Milan at the Allianz stadium, in Turin, Italy. [Spada/LaPresse via AP]

Sarri further added: “After that, we slowly dropped our tempo, intensity and mental determination, but that is a risk in an empty stadium. We had been doing so well, playing one and two-touch football, but then we slowed down and lost some sharpness, focused more on individual moves and taking two touches.

"The positive is that we didn't allow the opponents to play at all. It's going to take a while to get the fitness and mentality back to 100 per cent. If you compare it to a pre-season game, it'd be early July, but this is worse than pre-season because it was a much longer break.”

On his part, Milan coach Stefano Pioli was left to reflect on the goal they conceded at home and Rebic’s red card.

“We committed the naive act of ending up with a man less. Then afterwards we had a great game and then we had chances to go ahead.

“The results are clear, two draws. The difference was subtle. I don’t think we played worse than our opponents in the two games,” Pioli told Reuters on Saturday.

Juve will face Napoli or Inter Milan who meet on Saturday (today) in the much-awaited semi-final clash.

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri in a past match. [Photo: REUTERS/Alberto Lingria]