Ronaldo controversially sent off, Lyon stun Man City

Marcus Newton
September 20, 2018

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) reacts next to teammate Federico Bernardeschi after receiving a red card during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Valencia CF and Juventus FC at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on 19 September, 2018.

While Ronaldo's presence has raised hopes Juve can end their 22-year wait for European success, the Bianconeri demonstrated they can still prosper without him as Pjanic's spot-kicks either side of half-time secured a hard-earned three points on the road.

The 33-year-old appeared to pull Valencia defender Jeison Murillo's hair in an off-the-ball incident and was shown a straight red by Felix Brych.

Ronaldo, making his Juventus debut in a competition he has won five times, also had a new experience - getting a red card against Valencia for tangling with Jeison Murillo.

Old Trafford could also be denied a reunion with Ronaldo for Juve's October 23 visit depending on the ban UEFA imposes.

However, manager Julen Lopetegui preferred to talk about the team as a whole rather than individual performances from his two in-form stars following the match. "It's disappointing because now we'll lose him for a few games and instead if there had been VAR it would have been seen that it wasn't a sending-off offence".

Naturally, the incident gave many a chance to compare Ronaldo with great rival Lionel Messi, who scored a hat-trick against PSV on Tuesday night.

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Joao Cancelo hit the crossbar and was then fouled by Daniel Parejo as he tried to get on the rebound.

Parejo stepped up but Wojciech Szczesny saved his spot-kick to sum up the Spanish side's frustrating evening.

Mariano, wearing the number seven shirt vacated by Ronaldo, rounded out the win in stoppage time with a searing shot into the top corner from the edge of the box in his first game back at Real since rejoining from Lyon.

Bale added the second after a brilliant Luka Modric pass, with the Welshman lashing home brutally to double the score.

Five-time champions Bayern Munich got their Group E campaign off to a solid start as Niko Kovac's men eased to a 2-0 triumph against Benfica in Lisbon, with Robert Lewandowski and Renato Sanches scoring the goals.

In the Johan Cruyff Arena, Ajax dispatched AEK Athens with the help of two goals from Argentina defender Nicolas Tagliafico.

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