During Juventus’ 2-1 away win against Lokomotiv Moscow on Wednesday, Maurizio Sarri substituted Cristiano Ronaldo for Paulo Dybala in the 82nd minute. However, as the Portuguese star made his way to the dugout he didn’t seem happy and rather wore an angry expression on his face.
The incident sparked outbreak from Ronaldo fans on Twitter who criticized Sarri for taking the former Real Madrid and Manchester United player off. Yesterday was also the first time when he failed to complete 90 minutes in a Champions League game since 2016.
However, Juventus boss Sarri explained that the talismanic striker was angry because he had sustained a minor injury. “Ronaldo was angry because he wasn’t very well, he had a knee problem a few days ago and his adductor got tired,” the former Napoli and Chelsea manager was quoted as saying by Goal.
Sarri added, “At the end of the first half he was nervous. I was afraid he would hurt himself and I preferred to take him off.” The game was still level at 1-1 when Ronaldo was taken off.
The 34-year-old’s frustration was elongated further after he failed to score a goal and missed the chance to break the record for scoring against the most number of clubs in Champions League history.
He had come closest to be on the scoresheet in the third minute of the game when his free-kick – which was going inside the goal line anyway – was tapped in by Aaron Ramsey to get his name on the board.
Cristiano Ronaldo almost scored his first free-kick for Juventus.
But Aaron Ramsey stole it off the line.😂pic.twitter.com/cicZLHDffu
— Football HQ (@FootbaII_HQ) November 6, 2019
Meanwhile, Juventus struggled against a spirited Lokomitv team who defenced wth all their hearts throughout the match and even got an equalizer in the 12th minute.
Despite owning lion’s share of possession the Italian champions struggled to see the back of the net after scoring the opener in 3rd minute.
However, the deadlock was finally broken in stoppage time when Douglas Costa played a brilliant one-two with Gonzalo Higuain before beating the opponent goalkeeper to win the hard-fought game 2-1 for his team.