Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off on his first Champions League appearance for Juventus as a couple of penalties from Miralem Pjanic gave the Italian giants a 2-0 win in Valencia.
Ronaldo, the Champions League’s all-time leading scorer with 120 goals, was dismissed after just 28 minutes following an off-the-ball incident.
The forward appeared to put his hand on the head of Valencia defender Jeison Murillo, who fell to the ground. Referee Felix Brych gave Ronaldo a straight red card after discussing the incident with his assistant behind the goal.
The Portuguese star looked baffled and kept protesting his innocence, briefly laying on the ground to express his disbelief. He was clearly distraught as he left the pitch, still shaking his head.
It was his first red card in 154 Champions League games and means he may miss a return to Old Trafford when Juventus play his former club Manchester United next month. Given the seemingly soft nature of the offence, Juventus could also appeal against the decision.
Mario Mandzukic, Sami Khedira and Federico Bernardeschi, who at least brought a decent save from Murara Neto, all spurned good chances to score before the drama with Ronaldo.
Michy Batshuayi worked Wojciech Szczesny as Valencia tried to press home their numerical advantage but it was Juventus who went in front on the stroke of half-time following a bad challenge from Dani Parejo on Joao Cancelo. Pjanic tucked away the resulting penalty.
Goncalo Guedes had a good chance to equalise right at the start of the second half but shot straight at Szczesny.
Juventus made Valencia pay as they extended their lead through another Pjanic penalty after 50 minutes. Murillo conceded the spot-kick when he hauled Leonardo Bonucci to the ground at a corner.
Down to 10 men and with a 2-0 lead, Juventus had no desire to add to their advantage and were focused on strangling any threat of Valencia clawing their way back into the game.
Carlos Soler brought a good save from Szczesny and Rodrigo saw an effort blocked by the goalkeeper late on.
Juventus nearly got a third goal when a rare second-half attack by Massimiliano Allegri’s side saw Douglas Costa force a save from Neto.
A bad night for Valencia was topped off deep into injury time when Parejo saw his penalty saved by Szczesny after Daniele Rugani was adjudged to have fouled Gabriel.