UEFA Champions League match report Valencia v Juventus 19 September 2018


The pre-match hype overshadowed Cristiano Ronaldo’s first Champions League appearance in the colours of the Old Lady, with a certain Joao Cancelo returning to his former club.

Ronaldo’s mis-kick at the far post inadvertently fell to Mario Mandzukic who blasted over the top on 10 minutes with the game's first chance.

Minutes later, Another chance went astray with Sami Khedira missing a big sitter in front of goal after a nice lay-off by Ronaldo.

Their shocking finishing continued after shots from first Federico Bernadeschi and then Blaise Matuidi, though the latter had the best chance and should’ve done better.

To add insult to injury, a first half substitution happened after Khedira, guilty of a big miss seconds ago, struggled to continue after picking a hamstring and was replaced by Emre Can on 22 minutes.

The evening was ended for Ronaldo in the 28th minute after he received a straight red card for an altercation with Jeison Murillo.

The game went on though and Juve weren’t dragged down by the decision and came close to going in front later on but Matuidi struck the woodwork.

Despite the man advantage, Valencia didn’t step up as many expected with their only crack at goal saw Michy Batshuayi shooting high and wide.

A foul on Cancelo, merely a high boot led to a penalty for the visitors which Miralem Pjanic converted with ease for a deserved lead.

A disjointed Valencia’s task was to stage a come back early in the second half with the extra man advantage, instead their game-plan sucked further down.

Juve were awarded another penalty after Leonardo Bonucci was brought down on a corner. The spot-kick was taken again by Pjanic and he made no mistake with another cool finish for his brace on 50 minutes.

The change was perhaps to happen from the bench, with Denis Cheryshev replacing Rueben Vezo on 56 minutes.

The change helped to provide a bit of attacking impetus and in the closing stages, chances flew in left, right and centre.

With Juve taking their foot off the pedal, Rodrigo Moreno came close with a header from a central point in the box.

Four minutes into added time, Valencia spurned the chance to get a consolation from the spot with Wojciech Szczesny saving Dani Parejo's spot-kick to see off the group stage win.