Real Madrid 3-0 AS Roma: Comfortable evening for Los BlancosSeptember 19, 2018
Real Madrid opened the defence of their Champions League crown with a 3-0 win over AS Roma at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Goals from Isco, Gareth Bale and Mariano saw the La Liga side comfortably dispatch of their Italian visitors but in truth, it could, and should, have been so much more.
Real began well and almost took a third minute lead through Gareth Bale. A lofted ball by Toni Kroos found the Welshman on the edge of the area and despite his good control, he was only able to fire the ball wide.
Their strong start continued with Isco next to go close, his shot being saved before Daniele De Rossi managed to clear the ball for a corner with Bale lurking.
The Italian visitors were very lethargic in their play and struggled to do anything with the ball but Real were not creating many clear cut chances themselves.
Madrid did go close seven minutes before the break with a Sergio Ramos header but Roma keeper Robin Olsen was able to tip the effort over the bar.
However, Los Blancos did take the lead at the end of the half. De Rossi was booked for bringing down Isco on the edge of the box with the Spaniard stepping up to clip the free-kick over the wall and into the corner of the net.
Roma first properly threatened at the start of the second half when Cengiz Ünder burst forward before firing a shot towards goal which Keylor Navas had to push wide.
Bale then saw his shot for Real take a deflection before smacking off the crossbar but he wouldn’t be denied for long as he doubled the lead on 58 minutes.
A great through ball from Luka Modric found Bale who set himself before drilling a low left foot shot across the goal into the bottom corner of the net.
Ünder was Roma’s standout man and after a powerful run forward he laid off Patrick Schick but he struck the ball while off balance and could only watch as it flew high and wide.
Real got on the attack quickly themselves with a Kroos left foot shot pushed out for a corner by Olsen with Modric also trying his luck from the short corner but again the keeper was up to it.
Marco Asensio produced an exquisite turn in the box after an Isco pass but once more, Olsen wouldn’t let the ball past him.
Edin Dzeko almost got a goal back for the Serie A side with a downward header but Navas was able to keep it out before Real went on to add a third.
Substitute Mariano, making his return to the Bernabeu after a year with Lyon, cut inside before bending a lovely shot into the top corner to get Real off to the perfect start in Group G.
The other game in the group saw CSKA Moscow score a last minute penalty as they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Viktoria Plzen.
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric (Ceballos, 85); Bale (Mariano, 73), Benzema (Asensio, 62), Isco
Roma: Olsen; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Zaniolo (Pellegrini, 54), De Rossi, N’Zonzi (Schick, 69); Ünder, Dzeko, El Shaarawy (Perotti, 62)