Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s ability to handle pressure after his pair of spot-kicks rescued a 2-2 draw for Juve against Atalanta.
The Bianconeri were sub-par against an on-song La Dea outfit on Saturday night, and they were forced to come from behind twice to snatch a point.
The result means that Sarri’s men currently hold an eight-point advantage at the top of Serie A following Lazio’s defeat to Sassuolo, while Atalanta missed the chance to close the gap at the summit to six points.
And Sarri was full of praise for Ronaldo after the Portuguese international cancelled out strikes from Duvan Zapata early in the second period and Ruslan Malinovskyi in the dying embers of the contest.
“He is a champion with his feet but also with his head,” Sarri said post-match, as quoted by Goal.
“He manages to handle the pressures he has on him in an incredible way.”
The 35-year-old took his Serie A scoring tally up to 28 with his penalty brace on Saturday, as he attempts to chase down Lazio’s Ciro Immobile (29) in the Capocannoniere race.
Sarri also believed that his side were worthy of a point against Gian Piero Gasperini’s men.
“Tonight’s point was sweaty and deserved. We drew against one of the best teams in Europe, and it’s a very important result,” he said.
“Merit goes to a second half of quality, in which we attacked Atalanta higher while focusing on their physical decline, and we scored goals in our best moment.”
The Bianconeri boss was also quick to rule out that the title race is already done and dusted after closest challengers Lazio dropped more points prior to Juve’s draw.
“The Scudetto race is by no means closed, there are still 18 points available. It is a very difficult phase of the season, the games are very expensive, and it is difficult to find continuity,” he added.