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Ronaldo sent off but 10-man Juventus ease past Valencia

Update: September, 20/2018 - 10:00
Ronaldo was left in tears after being dismissed on his Champions League debut for Juve. - AFP Photo
Viet Nam News

VALENCIA, Spain — Juventus believe they can win the Champions League with Cristiano Ronaldo, but they had to start by beating Valencia without him after he was controversially sent off on his debut in the competition for the Italian champions on Wednesday.

A tearful Ronaldo left the pitch in disbelief in the 29th minute, having aimed a petulant, but seemingly harmless, kick at Valencia defender Jeison Murillo.

The Portuguese player then made contact with Murillo’s head while urging him to get up.

Ronaldo dropped to the floor like the tournament was lost after German official Felix Brych brandished the red card but Juve showed more composure, Miralem Pjanic scoring twice from the penalty spot to clinch a comfortable 2-0 win.

Valencia were even awarded a third spot-kick of the match deep into injury-time but Daniel Parejo missed.

It remains to be seen how UEFA judge Ronaldo’s offence, and dissent, but he is set to miss the next European game at home to Young Boys on October 2.

After that comes the more threatening double-header against Manchester United.

"I can only say that VAR would have helped the referee make the right decision," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said afterwards. UEFA are yet to approve the technology in Europe’s premier club tournament.

Valencia fans celebrated Ronaldo’s dismissal at the Estadio Mestalla like a goal had been scored but, in truth, their team missed a golden chance to gain a foothold in Group H.

Instead, Ronaldo’s absence had little effect. The Italians won - with ease. "Come on Cristiano, give us Europe," read the headline in Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport.

"You could say he’s increased the players’ desire to prove themselves," Allegri said. "He’s raised the bar for everybody." — AFP

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