Cristiano Ronaldo’s first Champions League appearance for Juventus lasted only 29 minutes as the competition’s record scorer was sent off but his side opened their Group H campaign with a 2-0 win at Valencia Wednesday. Penalties either side of halftime by Miralem Pjanic sealed the points for the visitors as Valencia’s return to European competition after a two-year absence went flat.
The night was overshadowed by Champions League record scorer Ronaldo’s straight red card for a seemingly innocuous tangle in the area with a Valencia defender. He appeared as stunned as the Mestalla crowd when German referee Felix Brych handed out his punishment.
A penalty miss by Daniel Parejo in stoppage time summed up Valencia’s night.
Manchester City suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Olympique Lyonnais in their opening Group F game.
Lyon took the lead in the 26th minute through Maxwel Cornet, who drove home after Fabian Delph made a hash of clearing a Nabil Fekir cross from the left.
With the suspended City manager Pep Guardiola forced to watch from the stands, Fekir then made it 2-0 to the French side in the 43rd minute with a sweetly struck drive after being set up by Memphis Depay.
It could have been 3-0 when Depay hit the post on the hour but after that let-off City earned themselves a lifeline through Bernardo Silva, who produced a smart finish after a superb run from substitute Leroy Sane.
Lyon, however, smothered City’s attack well and kept chances to a minimum in the latter stages as they held on for an impressive victory.
Real Madrid got their Champions League title defense off to a strong start by convincingly beating AS Roma 3-0 at home with goals from Isco, Gareth Bale and a stoppage-time strike from returning striker Mariano Diaz.
It took a wonderfully struck free kick from Isco right at the end of the first half for Real to take a deserved lead, and their dominance continued in the second half.
Bale saw a deflected shot bounce off the crossbar shortly after the interval but got the goal he craved not long after, racing on to a raking pass from former Tottenham Hotspur team mate Luka Modric and arrowing in off the post in the 58th minute.
Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen did his best to keep the score line dignified by denying Isco and Marco Asensio but was powerless to stop Mariano. The striker was playing his first game after returning to Madrid from Olympique Lyonnais and got the crowd on their feet with a wonderful curling strike into the top corner.