The big story in Juventus Champions League clash against Valencia will be about Ronaldo’s red card even though for most people they believed it was an undeserved one but that is an argument for another day.
The Portugal international who was signed from Real Madrid in the summer was sent off in his 154th champions league appearance. It was Ronaldo’s first red card in his champions league career.
The all-time top scorer in the history of the champions league was reduced to tears after he was shown the straight red card. To make matter worse his longtime rival Lionel Messi was the star of attraction the previous day, scoring a hattrick in their win against PSV. That must have been a hard pill to swallow.
However, one thing that is important to take away from the Ronaldo sending off is how the Juventus team showed that they can actually cope without Ronaldo at least in games like that of Valencia.
Let’s be real, the reason why Ronaldo was brought in by the Juventus board is for him to deliver them the champions league they have always been craving for. Juventus have dominated the Serie A for seven consecutive years without Ronaldo. However, they have always fallen short in Europe losing in the finals of 2015 and 2017. So they take the bold step of bringing in Ronaldo who is a serial winner in the champions league to deliver them the champions league.
However, they showed yesterday that, while Ronaldo will be key to them winning their third European crown, they can cope without him perfectly.
Juventus played more than half of the match with ten men and it if it were to be another team they would have lost confidence after seeing their star man sent off in the 29th minute.
However, the Juventus used that as an extra motivation that they could also cope without Ronaldo if the need arises. Despite the fact they played with ten men for most moments of the match. There was never a single time they were under pressure from the Valencia attack. They controlled the tempo of the match from start to finish and their defence that has been a backbone of their success were solid again.
Even when referee Felix Brych who was controversial all through the match, gave Valencia a penalty in stoppage time, Juventus keeper was up to the task of saving Parejo’s penalty.
It is paramount to know that Ronaldo will still be key to Juventus champions league chances this season because of what he has created in the competition and his experience will be key especially when the knockout stages arrive.
However, Juventus also proved that they can cope without him when the situation gets tough like yesterday.