The Champions League kicked off on an exciting note with Lionel Messi scoring an excellent hat-trick in a 4-0 Barcelona rout of PSV and an unexpected 2-1 win for Lyon against City away from home. At the same time, there were a few shocks in store as well with Cristiano Ronaldo sent off in the 29th minute against Valencia on his Champions League debut for Juventus.
The Portuguese footballer was handed a red card after a seemingly innocuous challenge leaving him in tears as he walked off the field. Ronaldo's sister Katia Aveiro termed the red card as an attempt to destroy him with a post on Instagram shortly after the incident: "Football's shame ... justice will be served. They want to destroy my brother but God never rests. Shameful."
Teammate Emre Can had an equally controversial viewpoint surrounding the decision with his post-match remarks drawing sharp criticism online after being termed sexist in nature. The German midfielder said: "That's supposed to be a red? We're not women, we're playing football. If you’re giving that as a red card, you can be sent off for any foul. One hundred percent, that is not a red card.” which has been followed by an apology.
I would like to take a moment to clear the air regarding comments I made after last nights game.
Please read the full statement below⤵️
— Emre Can (@emrecan_) September 20, 2018
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was left powerless after being relegated to the stands following a suspension as his side crumbled to a 2-1 loss at home against underdogs Lyon. Maxwell Cornet and Liverpool target Nabil Fekir combined to ensure a 2-0 lead for the visitors before Bernardo Silva's solitary strike in the 67th minute ensured a respectable scoreline.
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) September 19, 2018
The other significant group stage clashes witnessed a 2-1 win for Atletico Madrid against Monaco with Napoli relegated to a 0-0 draw against Red Star Belgrade on the back of goalie Milan Borjan's heroics.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 18, 2018
Schalke and Porto battled it out in an intense 1-1 draw while Galatasaray sailed home on the back of a 3-0 win against Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow. However, it was not as easy for Borussia Dortmund with a late goal from Christian Pulisic ensuring an exciting 1-0 win against Club Brugge setting the tone for the rest of the tournament.