Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Real Madrid win, Ronaldo sent off

20 Sep 2018, 00:44 ( 2 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
FC Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo. File Photo Xinhua.

Real Madrid began their defense of the Champions League with a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Italian side Roma here on Wednesday.

   Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui made three changes to the side that struggled in Bilbao at the weekend with Keylor Navas returning in goal, while Isco and Casemiro also came into midfield and attack.

   Isco opened the scoring with a free kick on the stroke of halftime, which was a fair reward for a first half in which Madrid were much better than their rivals, who have been struggling for form in Serie A.

   Bale doubled the lead with an excellent left foot shot to finish off a counter-attack launched by a magnificent pass from Luka Modric as Roma again failed to apply enough pressure to the reigning European Champions.

   Robin Olsen did well to deny Marco Asensio what would have been a wonderful solo goal with 10 minutes remaining, but Madrid's night was complete when new arrival Mariano Diaz scored a wonderful right foot shot in the 91st minute, shortly after making his debut as a second half substitute.

   There was drama in Valencia's Mestalla Stadium where Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Spain with Juventus lasted just 30 minutes before he was shown a red card after a tussle with Valencia defender Jeison Murillo.

   Ronaldo left the pitch in tears of frustration after his first Champions League expulsion. The decision was very harsh on the Portuguese international, but going down to 10 men did little to distract Juventus, who opened the scoring from the penalty spot on the strike of halftime following a foul from Valencia captain, Dani Parejo.

   Miralem Pjanic made no mistake from the spot and he netted a second penalty six minutes after the break after Murillo was penalized for a foul following a corner.

   Valencia threw players forward in an attempt to salvage something from the game but were unable to score and their night and their captain's was summed up in a nutshell when Parejo saw a 96th minute penalty saved by Juventus keeper, Wojciech Szczesny.

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