Juve rest Ronaldo and lose, fans demand refund

GENOA • Raging Juventus fans have demanded the Serie A club refund their tickets after the seven-time defending Italian champions fell 2-0 to Genoa for their first league defeat of the season.

Star forward Cristiano Ronaldo was rested for yesterday's trip, only for the decision to backfire as the runaway league leaders' bid to finish the term as "invincibles" ended at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Stefano Sturaro, who joined Genoa on loan from Juventus in January before the deal was made permanent, put the hosts in front in the second half before fellow substitute Goran Pandev secured victory with 10 minutes remaining.

Ronaldo was left out of the match-day squad after his Champions League heroics against Atletico Madrid and, according to Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the decision was met with fury from both sets of supporters.

Social media was also abuzz with fans venting their unhappiness at his absence. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was also annoyed after dropping points to Genoa for the second time this season.

Recalling the 1-1 draw in Turin in October, he said: "I expected a different Juventus. We made some mistakes and then this goal came out of nowhere.

"Much like the Coppa Italia (3-0) defeat by Atalanta, we picked the right game to lose, because it's just before the break for international duty, so we have time to plug.

"If anyone had to score against us, I'm glad it was Sturaro. He's a lovely guy and suffered so much, out of action for practically a year with that (Achilles) tendon injury, so he deserves it."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2019, with the headline 'Juve rest Ronaldo and lose, fans demand refund'. Print Edition | Subscribe