Cristiano Ronaldo avoids red card after kicking former Manchester United teammate in the head

Man Utd captain Bruno Fernandes got the winner on the night but two of his former teammates collided.

Cristiano Ronaldo was booked for a late challenge on Martin Dubravka.
Cristiano Ronaldo was booked for a late challenge on Martin Dubravka.

Cristiano Ronaldo could consider himself fortunate not to have been sent off last night after kicking former Manchester United teammate Martin Dubravka in the head.

Ronaldo is currently away on international duty with Portugal as they look to continue their Euro 2024 qualification campaign. Roberto Martinez’s side started strongly and beat Slovakia 1-0 thanks to a goal from Bruno Fernandes.

The current Manchester United captain rifled home an excellent finish just before half-time, picking up the ball on the right before a mazy run through Slovakian defenders. It was his second goal of the season following his winning penalty for the Reds against Nottingham Forest.

But in search of a goal for himself, Ronaldo could have been shown a straight red card when lunging for a loose ball and catching Dubravka in the head with his studs. Accidental though it may have been, the Slovakia goalkeeper was writhing in pain.

Ronaldo protested his innocence and apologised to the Slovakian international, who spent a few months at United alongside Ronaldo last season. He eventually received a yellow card from the referee.

VAR did check the incident for a possible red card, but the 38-year-old escaped further punishment by indicating that his foot slipped up from Dubravka’s chest and into his face. The video assistant decided against a review.

Ronaldo stayed on the pitch for the full 90 minutes as his side fought hard to keep a clean sheet and fly back with a 1-0 win. Portugal have continued their 100 per cent record for the group stages, winning 15 points from five games.

Martinez’s side host Luxembourg in their second game of the international break on Monday evening.

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