Ron­aldo puts pos­i­tive spin on Ju­ven­tus’ 1st loss of sea­son

The Niagara Falls Review - - Sports - DANIELLA MATAR

MI­LAN — Cris­tiano Ron­aldo put a pos­i­tive spin on his team’s first loss of the sea­son.

The Ju­ven­tus for­ward, who has been play­ing and scor­ing reg­u­larly de­spite fac­ing a rape al­le­ga­tion in the United States, gave his team the lead but they still lost to Manch­ester United 2-1 in the Cham­pi­ons League.

Ju­ven­tus had won all three of its pre­vi­ous matches in the com­pe­ti­tion and 10 of 11 in Serie A. The Ital­ian league lead­ers next play at AC Mi­lan on Sun­day.

“It’s never nice to lose, but maybe this de­feat comes at the best pos­si­ble time,” Ron­aldo said.

“We have a great team, we’re top of the group and I’m sure we’ll go through as group win­ners.”

Ron­aldo has not ap­peared dis­tracted since Kathryn May­orga filed a civil law­suit in Septem­ber in Nevada claim­ing he raped her in his Las Ve­gas ho­tel room in 2009. Po­lice re­opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tion at her re­quest.

Ron­aldo has de­nied wrong­do­ing and also com­plained that his per­sonal life was be­ing im­pacted by the al­le­ga­tion.

On Wed­nes­day, Ron­aldo scored a su­perb goal against his for­mer club to give his team the lead, but Ju­ven­tus again failed to fin­ish off the op­po­si­tion.

The six-time de­fend­ing Ital­ian cham­pi­ons al­most con­ceded a late equal­izer against Cagliari last week­end be­fore scor­ing again and win­ning 3-1. And in Manch­ester two weeks ago, its dom­i­nance was not re­flected by the 1-0 vic­tory.

“If we want to get to the fi­nal in Madrid at the end of the sea­son, we have to learn from tonight be­cause it comes down to the small de­tails,” Ju­ven­tus de­fender Gior­gio Chiellini said. “We should have won this game com­fort­ably.

“We’re still in the mix and it’s bet­ter to lose now than fur­ther down the line but we must do bet­ter. It will bring us down a peg or two. This sort of thing had been in the air for a few games and we botched up big time tonight.”

Mi­lan, which will be miss­ing sev­eral play­ers be­cause of in­jury for Sun­day’s match, has won its past three league games to move up to fourth in Serie A.

“We need to pick our­selves up right away be­cause we have a mas­sive game in Mi­lan on Sun­day,” Ju­ven­tus coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri said. “We need to keep work­ing.”

AN­TO­NIO CALANNI THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ju­ven­tus for­ward Cris­tiano Ron­aldo cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing against Manch­ester United in Turin, Italy, Wed­nes­day.

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