The Borneo Post (Sabah)
Juve miss Ronaldo’s ‘killer instinct’ in first league loss to Atalanta since 2001
MILAN: Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus missed Cristiano Ronaldo’s “killer instinct” as the Italian champions fell to their first league defeat in two decades to Atalanta on Sunday.
Ruslan Malinovskyi struck late as Atalanta won 1-0 to move third in Serie A with the Portugal attacker injured.
Atalanta are two points behind second-placed AC Milan who beat Genoa 2-1 thanks to an owngoal to claim their first win at the San Siro in over two months.
Juventus were playing without injured Ronaldo, the top scorer in Serie A with 25 goals this campaign, in the match between the Champions League rivals in Bergamo.
“We knew it would be tough against Atalanta,” Juve coach Alessandro Pirlo.
“Ronaldo is our finisher, he adapts to these matches, because he’s a champion.
“He’s a penalty area killer. Today we had our chances, we didn’t use them and we were punished by an episode.”
Juve have failed to win any matches this season without 36-year-old Ronaldo with three draws and a loss.
Their nine-year reign as champions looks set to end, and they are now facing a battle for a Champions League place.
They sit fourth and risk being overtaken by fifthplaced Napoli who play leaders Inter Milan later on Sunday.