Ron nets but boss mad over Costa's spit

A jubilant Cristiano Ronaldo after opening accounts for Juventus against Sassuolo in their Italian Serie A match in Turin on Sunday. He doubled his team's advantage before the visitors pulled a goal back but the win was marred by Douglas Costa's send
A jubilant Cristiano Ronaldo after opening accounts for Juventus against Sassuolo in their Italian Serie A match in Turin on Sunday. He doubled his team's advantage before the visitors pulled a goal back but the win was marred by Douglas Costa's sending-off.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TURIN • Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has condemned Douglas Costa after the Brazil winger was sent off for spitting in the face of an opponent on Sunday.

His actions marred the Italian champions' 2-1 Serie A win over Sassuolo in which €100 million (S$160 million) close-season signing Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first two competitive goals for the club, who are the only unbeaten side in the league while boasting a 100 per cent record this term after four matches.

Costa was dismissed for spitting at Federico di Francesco after a running feud in which he also elbowed and headbutted him. Allegri expressed his annoyance with the 28-year-old for "rising to provocation".

"Maybe he (Costa) was irritated at a foul before, but it doesn't matter because these things should absolutely not happen. The one thing we must avoid is rising to provocation," the Italian manager said.

"It's only right that he is fined, and he certainly will be... I was surprised by his reaction. We have suffered a goal, a red card and a suspension which will be long."

Costa apologised on Instagram afterwards for losing his head during the match at the Allianz Stadium, saying that he wanted "to make (it) clear that this isolated conduct has nothing to do with what I've shown throughout my career".

"I would like to apologise to all the Juventus fans for my wrong reaction during today's game. I also apologise to my teammates, who are always by my side, in good and bad times. It was ugly, I am aware of that and I apologise to everyone for that," the former Bayern Munich winger added.

 
 

Allegri was in a far better mood when discussing Ronaldo, who broke his duck on his fourth competitive game for Juve, saying he never had any doubts about the Portugal forward ahead of tomorrow's trip to Valencia for their Champions League Group H opener.

"Was there any anxiety? Not on my part," he said. "You just had to see the first three games and how close Ronaldo went to scoring. Football has a way of evening things out."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2018, with the headline 'Ron nets but boss mad over Costa's spit'. Print Edition | Subscribe