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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 October 2018

Juventus push for VAR in the Uefa Champions League after Cristiano Ronaldo's red card

The Portuguese forward sent off for the first time in his career following off-the-ball clash with Valencia's Jeison Murillo

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri led calls for the introduction of video assistant referees in the Uefa Champions League after Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off during the win at Valencia.

Ronaldo was sent off on his first Champions League appearance for the Italian giants as a couple of penalties from Miralem Pjanic gave Allegri's side a 2-0 victory.

The Portuguese, 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.

Ronaldo 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.

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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 - but given the seemingly soft nature of the offence, Juventus could also appeal against the decision.

On Ronaldo's dismissal, Allegri told reporters at the post-match press conference: "I can only say that VAR would've helped the referee in this decision.

"Going down to 10 men in the Champions League for an incident like that is disappointing. We risked losing tonight with this and we'll miss him for the next games too."

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 took control of the match through Pjanic penalties either side of half-time.

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. A bad night for Valencia was topped off deep into injury time when Parejo saw his penalty saved by Szczesny.

Allegri said: "The lads did really well as we had numerous chances even before Ronaldo's dismissal, then we deservedly took the lead.

"It was only natural that towards the end we allowed Valencia some more room, but Szczesny didn't really have a save until the penalty in stoppage time."