'Absolutely crazy': Ronaldo MISSES penalty, Rebic SENT OFF, Matuidi & Dybala complete Covid-19 comebacks as Juventus host Milan
Cristiano Ronaldo hit the post from the spot after a VAR check and Ante Rebic was sent off for a wild high challenge with less than 20 minutes gone as the latest major league comeback started with a bang in the Coppa Italia.
Ronaldo drilled a penalty against the woodwork as football exploded back into life with a remarkable start in the semi-final second leg between Juventus and AC Milan.
The lethal striker had a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead with 15 minutes gone after a lengthy VAR check adjudged a handball to have taken place inside the penalty area, but he could only find Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma's right-hand post in an extraordinary passage of play that ended with Ante Rebic being sent off for a wild high challenge after Milan had cleared the ball.
An absolutely crazy minute in the #CoppaItalia! 😱Cristiano Ronaldo hits the post from the penalty spot... Seconds later Ante Rebic sees red for a wild kung-fu challenge on Danilo! pic.twitter.com/9vfFvLRu5Y— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 12, 2020
Paulo Dybala and Blaise Matuidi were both in the starting line-up almost exactly four months after the Serie A sides shared a 1-1 draw at the San Siro in the first leg, helping Juventus to make a dominant start.
Both sets of players stood around the centre circle behind closed doors at the Allianz Stadium before kick-off, observing a minute's silence to thank health service staff who struggled to treat people as Italy became one of the first countries badly hit by a virus which has now caused almost 35,000 deaths there.
Ronaldo, who spent more than seven weeks at home in Portugal after football in Italy was suspended in mid-March, was pictured joining his team-mates in entering the stadium wearing a mask as part of public health guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.
Teams are returning to action under strict guidelines and are keenly aware of the theoretical risk that entire squads could be subject to a two-week quarantine should one of their players test positive for COVID-19.
Visitors Milan, who were only denied victory first time around by a last-gasp Ronaldo penalty, didn't miss the chance to encourage fans to buy their club-branded masks, sharing photos of their players warming up alongside a link to the unusual new merchandise, available to fans for around $7 each.
Ronaldo and Donnarumma were among those wearing anti-racism messages in the warm-ups as Milan limbered up in shirts with "Black Lives Matter" on the front and Juve's shirts bore the message "No Racism".Also on rt.com Ronaldo's next move: With rumors of an impending departure from Juventus, where might Cristiano Ronaldo head next?