Roma 0-2 Real Madrid: Clinical Finishing from Los Merengues breaks Giallorossi resistance
Real Madrid defeated Roma 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Wednesday night in the Champions League.
Los Merengues required two second half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and substitute Jese to break down a stubborn Giallorossi defence, leaving Roma with a mountain to climb in the return leg in Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane’s side dominated possession in the first half but his opposite number Luciano Spalletti set his team up to play defensively and Real struggled to break down the Roma back line. The Giallorossi launched a few counter-attacks with Mohamed Salah threatening with his pace although Keylor Navas in the Real goal was not tested.
The closest chance that Los Blancos had to scoring in the first half was when Cristiano Ronaldo scooped the ball in the air for Marcelo to volley wide.
Early in the second half, William Vainqueur won the ball in the air with his right foot but he also connected with James Rodriguez’s head, leaving the Colombian needing treatment. Spalletti’s side nearly took the lead when Stephan El Shaarawy ran onto a long pass but Navas came charging off his line to block his avenue to goal.
Real Madrid took the lead after 56 minutes when Marcelo found Ronaldo, who dribbled past Alessandro Florenzi and blasted a thunderous shot right into the top right corner via a deflection off the Italy international.
The game opened up after the goal. Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made two saves from Karim Benzema, Vainqueur volleyed just wide and substitute Edin Dzeko hit the side-netting. Florenzi should have been awarded a clear penalty after a foul by Dani Carvajal but the appeals were waved away.
Jese came on as a sub and made it 2-0 after 87 minutes after sprinting past Lucas Digne and beating Szczesny with an angled drive.
Roma will travel to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu to play Real on March 9.