SERIE A

Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus boss lauds "incredible" mental strength

Cristiano Ronaldo was praised by Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri after his penalties earned the Serie A leaders a draw with Atalanta on Saturday.

Ronaldo handles pressure in an incredible way – Sarri praises Juventus star

Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri praised the "incredible" Cristiano Ronaldo after the star's pair of penalties helped the Bianconeri draw 2-2 with Atalanta on Saturday.

Ronaldo converted two spot-kicks in Turin as Juve took another step towards the Serie A title.

The Portugal international cancelled out Duván Zapata's opener before securing a point in the 90th minute after Ruslan Malinovskiy had restored Atalanta's lead.

Ronaldo "a champion with his feet but also with his head", says Sarri

Sarri, whose side are eight points clear at the top with six games to play, hailed Ronaldo's ability to handle the pressure.

"He is a champion with his feet but also with his head," Sarri told a news conference. "He manages to handle the pressures he has on him in an incredible way."

Juventus were coming off a 4-2 loss to Milan on Tuesday, and maintained a nine-point lead over third-placed Atalanta.

Sarri: Juventus merited point against "one of the best teams in Europe"

Sarri felt Juventus deserved their point, with their busy run of fixtures continuing against Sassuolo on Wednesday.

"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 game in Milan, in which we played well for a long time, could have left us with waste. In the first half we suffered, but in the second half we came out well.

"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."