ristiano Ronaldo was handed a straight red card during his Champions League debut with Juventus on Wednesday night and could miss the next three games, including an emotional reunion with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from European champions Real Madrid during the summer, was sent off in the 28th minute following an off-the-ball altercation with Valencia defender Jeison Murillo.
Sept 19: Young Boys v Manchester United
Sept 19: Valencia v Juventus
Oct 2: Juventus v Young Boys 5.55pm
Oct 2: Manchester United v Valencia
Oct 23: Young Boys v Valencia 5.55pm
Oct 23: Manchester United v Juventus
Nov 7: Valencia v Young Boys 5.55pm
Nov 7: Juventus v Manchester United
Nov 27: Manchester United v Young Boys
Nov 27: Juventus v Valencia
Dec 12: Young Boys v Juventus
Dec 12: Valencia v Manchester United
Though television replays were initially inconclusive, BT Sport at half time showed the incident from a different angle where Ronaldo appeared to be seen pulling the hair of Murillo before referee Felix Brych handed the Portuguese a straight red card.
After a tearful Ronaldo walked off the pitch at the Mestalla with the game goalless, team-mate Miralem Pjanic scored from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time to hand the Italian side a 1-0 lead.
Ronaldo had endured a troubled start to his Juventus career having failed to score in the opening three games of the Serie A season, though after opening his account last week with a goal against Sassuolo the 33-year-old had hoped he had turned a corner.
Ronaldo now stands to miss Juventus’ next game at home to Young Boys on Oct 2 but if Uefa decides to increase the suspension, which is typical for an offence of violent conduct, he will have to sit out one or both of the matches against United.
Jose Mourinho’s side host their Italian rivals on the third match day on Oct 23 before heading to Turin two weeks later.
At the Bernabeu, meanwhile, the man who inherited Ronaldo’s No 7 shirt for Real Madrid, Mariano Diaz, came off the bench to score the final goal in a 3-0 win against Roma, curling into the top corner from the edge of the box.