The day 2 of the Matchday 1 of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League provided even more excitement than the previous day’s encounters albeit with more controversies.
The Wednesday night fixtures served up upsets, controversies, and also showed us that the defending champions of the competition are still formidable and won’t give up their title without a fight.
Regardless, here are some major talking points from yesterday’s fixtures:
1. Lyon proved to be no pushovers against Guardiola’s Man City
The Etihad was the center of arguably the biggest upset of the 2018/19 UCL Matchday 1 fixtures after visitors Lyon stunned the Citizens and left with all three points in the bag.
This was courtesy of goals from Maxwel Cornet in the 26th minute, and Nabil Fekir in the 43rd minute. Who would have thought that the Ligue 1 outfit would go into halftime with a two-goal cushion?
As expected, Nobody! Bernado Silva pulled one back for the Citizens but they were unable to restore parity till the referee’s whistle went off for full time. Pep Guardiola’s Man City have now lost three consecutive UCL home games at the Etihad. An unwanted record and a poor one by Pep’s standards.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo sent on an early shower in UCL Debut for Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo had no choice but to face a miserable night on his return to Spain after he was given a straight red card. Fans would have expected him to bang in the goals as the Argentine had done the previous night.
However, this was not the case after camera replays caught the Juve men appear infuriated when he pulled on Murillo’s hair. The referee’s decision to hand him a red card was followed by a flood of tears running down Ronaldo’s cheeks as he walked off the Mestalla pitch in what will be an unforgettable experience.
He will surely bounce back as he has done previously. The decision by the controversial German referee Felix Brych has left the football world divided. Regardless, Juventus appeared too strong for Valencia at the Mestalla and won 2 nil.
3. Real Madrid appear ready for any opponent
The defending champions began their fourth consecutive UEFA Champions League title defense under new manager Julen Lopetegui in style as they thrashed Roma 3 nil in a game they dominated from start to finish.
The likes of Isco, Gareth Bale, and substitute Mariano Diaz came to the party for Los Blancos with golazos on the night.
We saw a very confident Real Madrid side in action last night and they are eager to prove they are still a powerful unit without Ronaldo. Marco Asensio would surely have been the rave of the moment if he had pulled off his burst of skill and no-look shot move successfully.
Real Madrid are obviously ready to defend their title. It’s still early days yet, but we wait to see how it pans out.
Regardless of the events of Matchday 1, the red card to Ronaldo appears to have stolen the limelight from the other newsmakers. Hopefully, we don’t see a repeat of a similar incident on Matchday 2.