A frustrated Atletico Madrid side were unable to find a way past Alisson in the Roma goal as they left the Italian capital with 0-0 draw in their Champions League Group C opener.
The Brazilian goalkeeper produced save after save to deny the Rojiblancos who dominated the majority of the game, in particular the second half.
The two teams had previously faced each other in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup quarter-final with Atleti winning both of the legs 2-1. While the Rojiblancos are unbeaten against Italian opposition in the Champions League.
Diego Simeone’s men almost had an early lead as Felipe Luis raced down the left before putting a low ball across goal into the path of Saul who could only side-foot wide from the edge of the area.
Luciano Vietto also had shot from 20 yards out saved by Alisson.
Roma did have plenty of the ball, but were able to fashion any chances of note during the opening 25 minutes.
Diego Perotti did have an effort go wide from distance, before Radja Nainggolan’s low drive was well saved by Jan Oblak at the second attempt.
If it weren’t for Kostas Manolas, Atleti would have taken the lead as the Greek defender scooped a Koke strike off the line, then Alisson was able to produce a wonderful reaction save and smother the rebound.
— Mario Ciampi (@marione80) September 12, 2017
At the other end Edin Dzeko struck high and wide from six yards out.
After the break, Atletico had an brilliant chance to take the lead as NO17 tried to chip the ball over Alisson, but the Roma goalkeeper got a hand to the ball and diverted it for a corner.
Saul was at it again, this time Juanfran’s low cross found the midfielder in acres of space, but he could only direct his shot straight at Alisson.
The Spanish side were well on top and had Roma pinned in their half, though unpicking the Giallorossi backline was proving difficult.
Thomas hit over the crossbar, then Alisson saved from Angel Correa after he brilliantly beat Juan Jesus.
In a rare second half foray into the Atletico penalty area, Roma had appeals for a penalty tuned down as Perotti and Juanfran tangled.
Allison was again the main man for Roma as he pulled off another stunning save, denying Correa 20-yard strike.
And in the final minutes of the game Saul again came out the loser in his personal battle with Alisson, with the goalkeeper getting down low to push away the midfielders close range header.
- Roma conceded 10 shots on target tonight, fewer only than Anderlecht (11) in the CL tonight.
- Alisson made nine saves tonight, more than any other goalkeeper.
- Roma had just three shots in the second half (none of them on target), while they attempted eight in the first half.
- The only shot on target by Roma in the game was taken by Nainggolan in the first half – no team attempted fewer tonight in CL.
- Roma haven’t found the net in their last four Champions League games, their longest goalless drought in the CL (since 1992-93).
- However, Roma have not conceded any goal in two of their last three CL home games.
- Roma have won only one of their last 13 CL games (5D, 7L), against Bayer Leverkusen in November 2015 (3-2).
- Atletico are unbeaten against Italian sides in the CL (3W, 2D).