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Referee in spotlight as Ronaldo leaves pitch in tears

Valencia, Thursday @PeopleSports11

Cristiano Ronaldo could miss both Champions League matches against Manchester United after being sent off on his debut in the competition for Juventus.

The 33-year-old was dismissed during the first half of Wednesday night’s Group H opener in Valencia following an off-the-ball clash with Jeison Murillo and had to be led away from the field in tears.

Ronaldo will receive an automatic one-match ban—which cannot be appealed—but could face an expected two-match ban for violent conduct, which would rule him out of the home game against Young Boys and the trip to Old Trafford on October 23.

A three-game suspension—UEFA will determine the length of the ban—would also keep him out of the return against United in Turin on November 7.

UEFA are waiting for the referee’s report before finalising their decision but if the ban was to be extended, any appeal from Juventus would need to be heard ahead of matchday three, when they travel to Old Trafford for what looked set to be Ronaldo’s return to Manchester.

Ronaldo flicked his boot at Murillo as they tangled entering the penalty area in the 29th minute and the defender fell to the ground. The Portugal forward then appeared to pull Murillo’s hair in an attempt to lift him off the ground and the Valencia players immediately protested to the fifth official behind the goal.

Referee Felix Brych consulted with his colleague before producing the red card for Ronaldo, who reacted by collapsing to the turf in disbelief and had to be consoled by staff as he made his way down the tunnel.

Juventus coach Max Allegri said: “VAR would have avoided what happened, it would have brought the right decision. We hope the suspension will be limited.”

The home crowd had jeered Ronaldo’s every touch but his team-mates silenced the masses as they emerged with a 2-0 victory thanks to Miralem Pjanic penalties either side of half-time. -DAILYMAIL

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