VALENCIA, Spain (REUTERS) - Cristiano Ronaldo's Champions League debut for Juventus lasted only 29 minutes as he was red-carded but the Italians began their Group H campaign impressively with a 2-0 victory at Valencia on Wednesday (Sept 19).
Penalties either side of halftime by Miralem Pjanic sealed the points for the visitors as Valencia's return to European competition after a two-year absence fell flat.
The night was meant to be all about Ronaldo's first Champions League appearance for the club he has tormented down the years for Real Madrid. His first real impression, however, was not what anyone in the Mestalla could have imagined.
After a lively opening half hour the Portuguese forward was involved in a tangle in the penalty area with a Valencia defender. It did not appear too sinister but German referee Felix Brych, after consulting with his assistant, pulled out his red card to the dismay of Ronaldo.
After leaving the pitch the five-times Champions League winner looked close to tears.
Juventus had been the better side before that with Joao Cancelo having an effort turned on to the woodwork by Valencia keeper Neto and Sami Khedira also wasted a good chance for the Italian champions.
On the stroke of halftime Daniel Parejo's reckless challenge on Cancelo earned him a booking and gave Pjanic the chance to send 10-man Juventus into the interval ahead.
Five minutes after the break the home crowd fell silent when Jeison Murillo pushed Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci in the back and Brych pointed to the spot again.
Once again Neto guessed right but Pjanic's penalty was placed into the corner.
Valencia dominated possession after that but Juventus's well-drilled defence held firm until stoppage time when Brych awarded the third penalty of the game.
Parejo stepped up but Wojciech Szczesny saved his spot-kick to sum up the Spanish side's frustrating evening.