Cristiano Ronaldo: Sarri holds no regrets over resting Juve star
Cristiano Ronaldo's absence was felt as Juventus laboured to a win over Atalanta, though Maurizio Sarri has no regrets over leaving him out.
Maurizio Sarri insists he had no problem with resting Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus' Serie A clash with Atalanta, despite an unconvincing display from the Bianconeri.
Ronaldo was not risked on Saturday as he continues to deal with a knee issue, and his absence was felt for the majority of the match, until Gonzalo Higuaín's double and Paulo Dybala's stoppage-time strike secured a 3-1 comeback win.
Sarri, who made headlines when he took Ronaldo off against Lokomotiv Moscow prior to the international break, hopes to have the former Real Madrid star fit to feature against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.
However, he stated he had no issue with leaving Juve's star forward out against Atalanta.
"I hope he'll be back for the Champions League on Tuesday. He has this little problem that is above all affecting him in training, as he's struggling to train consistently," Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.
"A lot depends on how the lad feels, the fatigue and the need he has at any moment to rest. He felt, and I fully agreed, it was important right now to find a way of training that wouldn't put extra pressure on the knee.
"It's a solid knee, there are no lesions, but constantly having that pain does take it out of you.
"I was happy to rest him, as I felt the same way, that it was best to take this time to first of all rest and secondly analyse training methods to see how he could train differently."
Sarri: "We lost our heads after the penalty"
Musa Barrow missed an early penalty for Atalanta, who deservedly went ahead thanks to Robin Gosen's 56th-minute header, though the hosts' profligacy did ultimately come back to bite them.
Sarri conceded his side were fortunate to get back into the match, but was thrilled with their self-belief once the scores were level.
"It was an entertaining game with tempo and intensity, the kind you don't usually see in Serie A," Sarri said.
"We lost our heads after the penalty, thinking of everything except the game of football and allowed Atalanta to take total control. They deservedly went in front.
"We were fortunate to score the equaliser in a chaotic move against the run of play and from there on showed belief we could win it.
"In the final minutes, we started to attack the spaces that were opening up, whereas we didn't do that enough before."
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