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Ronaldo-less Juventus lose first league match of the season as Genoa spring shock

Ronaldo-less Juventus lose first league match of the season as Genoa spring shock

17/03/2019 at 12:27Updated 17/03/2019 at 14:10

Juventus have lost their first league match of the season, going down 2-0 away to Genoa.

Late goals from former Juventus player Stefano Sturaro (72 minutes) and Goran Pandev (81 minutes) decided the result.

The loss put an end to Juve's unbeaten run of 24 wins and three draws this campaign, during which they had only conceded 17 goals.

Before kick-off, some Juventus fans had voiced disgruntlement with coach Max Allegri's decision to rest Cristiano Ronaldo - with some going so far as to demand a refund for their ticket price.

Juventus thought they had gone in front just after half-time when Paulo Dybala swept home a finish, but VAR chalked the goal off for an offside in the build-up.

Despite the result, Juventus remain 18 points clear of second-placed Napoli at the top of the table, while Genoa climbed above Sassuolo into 12th place on 33 points.

“I expected a different Juventus," Allegri told Italian broadcasters afterwards.

"We did not put in a good performance, we made some mistakes and then this goal came out of nowhere.

“Much like the Coppa Italia defeat to Atalanta, we picked the right game to lose, because it’s just before the break for international duty, so we have time to unplug and rest.

“I am actually happy for Stefano, because 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 tendon injury, so he deserves it.”

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