VALENCIA, SPAIN – Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri lamented the lack of a video assistant referee after Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off on his Champions League debut for the club against Valencia on Wednesday.
A tearful Ronaldo was shown a red card in the 29th minute at Estadio Mestalla for an altercation with Valencia defender Jeison Murillo. Juve still won the game 2-0 thanks to two penalties from Miralem Pjanic.
The decision by German official Felix Brych appeared harsh. Murillo tracked Ronaldo into the box and as the players tussled, Ronaldo appeared to kick out at his opponent, who fell to the ground. Ronaldo then waved his hand at Murillo’s head, gesturing for him to stand up.
It remains to be seen how will UEFA judge Ronaldo’s offense and subsequent dissent, but he is set to miss at least the team’s next European game at home against Young Boys on Oct. 2. After that comes the more threatening doubleheader against Manchester United.
“I can only say that VAR would have helped the referee make the right decision,” Allegri said afterwards.
“Going down to 10 men in the Champions League for an incident like that is disappointing. We risked losing tonight with that and we’ll miss him for the next games too.”
UEFA has indicated it plans to implement VAR in Europe’s top club tournament next season after the technology was used, largely successfully, at last summer’s World Cup.