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12 Jun, 2020 20:32

'The impossible has happened': Fans react with DISBELIEF as goal machine Ronaldo SPURNS penalty gift on return of Italian football

'The impossible has happened': Fans react with DISBELIEF as goal machine Ronaldo SPURNS penalty gift on return of Italian football

Fans reacted with shock and even blamed lockdown rustiness as Cristiano Ronaldo missed just his second penalty in 16 opportunities from the spot for Juventus in their Coppa Italia semi-final second leg at home to AC Milan.

The usually deadly striker, who has scored 121 penalties in his career and 11 for Juventus this season, was on uncharacteristically wayward form as he drilled an early penalty against the post almost four months after his last-gasp successful penalty had earned his side a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

His miss capped a frustrating start for Serie A leaders Juve as they struggled to fashion a breakthrough despite dominating against visitors who are six places and 27 points behind them in the league table.

"Another sign it's the end of the world," responded one Ronaldo obsessive after watching their hero fail from the spot for the first time since January 2019.

"Impossible but it happened," added another onlooker, while some fans rued the bets they had placed on Ronaldo to score first.

Many drew inevitable comparisons with Ronaldo's fellow icon and striking rival Lionel Messi, who has scored 89 penalties and missed 26 during his career with Barcelona and Argentina, last failing from the spot in a friendly against Brazil in November.

Former Real Madrid and Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman, who won the Champions League twice at Ronaldo's former club, admitted he was shocked at the rare mistake by a player who had been out of action for three months while football in Italy had been suspended.

"You don't expect Ronaldo to miss," the ex-England winger told BT Sport. "He goes low and pulls it a little bit."

Fans also responded with memes and jibes about a farcically dreadful challenge by Milan forward Ante Rebic that saw the Croatia star sent off for a studs-up, kung-fu style challenge on Danilo immediately after Ronaldo's miss.

"The challenge by Rebic is awful," said McManaman, as supporters likened the dismissal to a wrestling move.

"He must be able to see Danilo out of the corner of his eye.

"The referee went for a yellow but he's been told it's a red and Rebic can have no complaints about that whatsoever."

Juventus remained in a favorable position an hour into the contest, holding a man advantage safe in the knowledge that a goalless draw would send them through to the final of the competition on Wednesday on away goals.

Also on rt.com 'Absolutely crazy': Ronaldo MISSES penalty, Rebic SENT OFF, Matuidi & Dybala complete Covid-19 comebacks as Juventus host Milan