Juventus' impressive unbeaten 2018-19 Serie A campaign came to an end on Sunday as they fell to a shock 2-0 defeat away to mid-table Genoa.
Former Juve midfielder Stefano Sturaro opened the scoring in the 72nd minute and veteran Goran Pandev struck late on to seal a famous victory for the hosts.
After overturning a 2-0 deficit versus Atletico Madrid in dramatic fashion to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, Massimiliano Allegri rung the changes at the Luigi Ferraris.
The Juve manager left Wojciech Szczesny, captain Giorgio Chiellini and Blaise Matuidi as unused substitutes, and, most crucially, Cristiano Ronaldo didn't make the squad whatsoever.
When asked to explain his reasoning behind leaving Ronaldo behind for the trip to Genoa, Allegri provided insight into the forward's reaction, insisting that CR7 agreed with his decision.
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Cristiano's 2018-19 season so far
Cristiano left Real Madrid last summer as their greatest-ever goalscorer and he's enjoying a fine debut season in Turin after a €100 million move.
The Portuguese icon is joint-second with AC Milan hotshot Krzysztof Piątek in the Serie A scoring charts, and in all competitions, he's bagged 24 goals in 36 matches.
He rescued Juve's European campaign earlier this week by scoring a sensational hat-trick against Atletico to fire them into the last eight, where they'll play a reborn Ajax.
Why Cristiano was left out of Juve's squad at Genoa
In an interview following the hat-trick, Ronaldo claimed that "this is why they (Juventus) brought me here", and it seems Allegri wants him to focus on the Champions League.
The Old Lady have won seven titles in a row and began the weekend 18 points clear of second-placed Napoli, but haven't lifted Europe's biggest prize since the 1995-96 season.
Max Allegri told reporters ahead of Genoa 2-0 Juventus, via The Mirror: I'm leaving him at home, he had played a lot and he needs to rest."
The 51-year-old, who saw his side fail to register a single shot on target in Ronaldo's absence, continued: "Right now it would be too risky to play him.
"I don't need to convince him. We spoke about it yesterday, I explained my point regarding the fixtures between now and the (Champions League) quarter finals and he agreed."
So, Allegri insists that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was accepting of his decision to drop him from the squad, despite scoring a hat-trick in his last outing.
Juve were beaten finalists in two of the last four Champions League finals, so there's a clear focus on making sure 34-year-old Cristiano is in peak physical condition for the big games.
Do YOU think Cristiano needs to be rested for the Champions League or do you feel he can continue to play in every Juve match? Drop YOUR thoughts in the comments box below!News Now - Sport News