MILAN – Cristiano Ronaldo made a positive spin on the first loss of his team's season.
Juventus forward, who regularly plays and scores in spite of facing rape charges in the United States, gave his team a lead, but still lost Manchester United 2-1 in the Champions League.
Juventus has won all three of its previous games in the competition and 10 of 11 in Serie A. The Italian league is the next game in AC Milan on Sunday.
"It's never nice to lose, but maybe this defeat is in the best possible time," Ronaldo said. "We have an excellent team, we are the climax of the group and I'm sure we will go through the group winners."
Ronaldo did not seem upset because Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in Nevada in September, claiming he raped her in a hotel room in Las Vegas in 2009. The police resumed investigating allegations at her request.
Ronaldo denied abuse and also regretted that his statement had influenced his personal life.
On Wednesday, Ronaldo scored an outstanding goal against his former club to bring his team to the water, but Juventus failed to finish the opposition again.
Two Italian champions almost admitted the late match against Cagliari last weekend before re-scoring and winning 3-1. And in Manchester two weeks ago, his dominance did not reflect 1-0 victory.
"If we want to reach the finals in Madrid at the end of the season, we must learn from tonight because it comes down to small details," Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini said. "We needed these games to get comfortable.
"We're still in the mix and now it's better to lose it than we do, but we have to do better, that will bring us down." This sort of thing was in the air for a few games and tonight we had fun.
Milan, who will miss a few players for injury for the Sunday match, has won three of his last leagues to move to fourth in Serie A.
"We have to move right away because we have a huge match on Sunday in Milan," coach Juventus Massimiliano Allegri said. "We have to keep working."
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