Cristiano Ronaldo was denied a last-gasp winner to save Juventus after his stoppage-time header was ruled out for offside in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Udinese.
Ronaldo started on the bench at the Dacia Arena in Udine amid rumours he is looking for a way out of the Italian giants, but he almost snatched the three points deep into stoppage time after Juve insisted he was going nowhere this term.
After the match returning coach Massimiliano Allegri played down the controversy, saying that he was always planning to bring on Ronaldo.
“Cristiano is OK… It’s the start of the season and seeing the condition everyone is in and thinking about the game, especially at the beginning, I put him on the bench knowing that there would be a need for him to come on,” he told broadcaster DAZN.
“He made himself available, like everyone. He played well, even scored a goal but unfortunately it didn’t stand.”
Allegri’s Juve looked to be cruising to victory when Paulo Dybala, wearing the captain’s armband, and Juan Cuadrado put them two ahead midway through the first half.
But two second-half blunders from Juve ‘keeper Wojciech Szczesny allowed Udinese to take a point through Roberto Pereyra‘s penalty and a Gerard Deulofeu strike.
Ronaldo entered the field to loud applause from the Juve fans on the hour mark with Juve leading 2-1 and he was unlucky not to restore their two-goal advantage when his header from a Dybala cross flashed wide.
And with just seconds left he wheeled away after meeting Federico Chiesa‘s pinpoint cross with a trademark header, celebrating with his jubilant teammates who thought he had saved their skins.
However he could only watch on in desperation as his winner was chalked off by VAR.