Real Madrid 3 Roma 0FT
Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Following a disastrous 2-2 draw with chievo this weekend the Romans were forced to put it aside as they were set to battle Real Madrid in the opening match day of Champions League. In what turned out to be an incredible night at the Santiago Bernabeu. A return to the Champions League ended rather ingloriously at the hands of Defending Champions Real Madrid. Real Madrid playing for the first time in the competition since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. Despite the the Spanish Giants didn’t miss a Beat. Saw an exceptional fight from Roma but the Italians we’re just outclassed by the great white sharks of European football. Robin Olsen displayed his abilities for the world to see at the Santiago Bernabeu leaving Real Madrid frustrated with the amount of chances they created but eventually Real Madrid broke through. As Isco free kick ended the first half giving Real Madrid the 1-0 lead. Exceptional effort defensively from Roma but Real Madrid’s efforts completely overshadowed how hard they were working. Gareth Bale increased the lead the 2-0 putting away a Counterattack using his frightening speed. Roma continue to defend extremely well but didn’t have many opportunities in the attack. At the very end of the game Real Madrid substitute Mariano scored a wonder goal to give Real Madrid the 3-0 win. Real Madrid found things incredibly comfortable throughout their game but despite the Roma effort. Positives can be taken from this as they showed a real grit and desire. As well as an unreal performance from Robin Olsen despite the loss Roma can keep their heads Held High going into their next game with a bit of confidence meanwhile Real Madrid proved the world even without Ronaldo Real Madrid they are still the dominant Dynasty that they are.
Eusebio di Francesco and his Roma side prepare for Champions League football against Real Madrid. There wouldn’t be too many adjustments made but he inserted some innovative ideas into this team. Operating out of the very effective 4-3-3 formation Roma put out a very similar lineups the one we saw this weekend. In goal would be the Sweed Robin Olsen. In front of him would be at back four that consists of Alex Kolarov at left-back. A center-back partnership Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas Then at right back would be the very versatile and attacking oriented Alexandro Florenzi. In Roma’s three-man Midfield they would be some minor adjustments. In at the center mid returning to the starting lineup would be Roma Captain Daniele de Rossi. To his left as a holding midfielder would be Steven Nzonzi. Then on right side we would see the surprise debut of Nicolo Zaniolo the 19 year old Roma youngster who has yet to make one appearance in the league. A risky but very intriguing move made by Di Francesco. Then up front would be the identical attack as we saw this weekend. On the left wing would be Stephan El Shaarawy who scored in his last match. On the right-wing would be the Turkish talent Cengiz Under then up front as Roma’s main Striker would be Edin Dzeko who was one of the standout stars in the Champions League last season. This team also have options on the bench with Diego Perotti Lorenzo Pellegrini and Patrik Schick.
There were many predictions and excitement surrounding this match in what would be the most intriguing matchup in this group. However all the talk was over as Real Madrid and Roma were set to do battle at the Santiago Bernabeu in Spain. A humorous moment came starting lineups announcement as Real Madrid cheered Roma’s Kostas Manolas when his name was called. The La Liga Giants cheered for Manolas due to the fact that he knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League last season. Match got underway in Madrid and as you would expect Roma sat back I’m try to manage the game. Real Madrid came out really aggressive and Shout out the cannon with all the players they had they were in control of the game from the very beginning. Roma had a lot to deal with early but fortunately they were able to manage. Very early in the match Gareth Bale have a superb chance from a Toni Kroos through ball. The Speedy Welshman ripped through the defense and had a excellent opportunity but his shot was a little wide. The tremendous pace of Gareth Bale look like it was going to be a problem. Just a few minutes later Real Madrid’s Isco saw his shot denied by Robin Olsen who ended up having to deal with so much. Real Madrid were in complete and utter control of the match but stingy Roma defense was not threatened by it as they defend it at an incredible level. Occasionally forcing Real Madrid into bad shots as a Sergio Ramos and Tony Kroos misfired. It had been 15 minutes until Roma put themselves into this game and then attacking sense. Cengiz Under try strike a deeper ball coming off a break away he miss fired probably wasn’t the right decision to take the shot from so far out. The Real Madrid’s attack was relentless they just kept coming fortunately for Roma they kept missing Marcelo Dani Carvajal Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos all came within striking distance before missing the target. The Roma defense was trying to make it as difficult as possible on a real Madrid attack that was deadly especially on the counter-attack. Roma showed they were smart with the ball when they got in those two positions but this Real Madrid team looked very difficult to dictate. Steven nzonzi had his shot saved and another Roma opportunity was cancelled out when El Shaarawy had his shot blocked by the defense. A few minutes past the half-hour marc Federico Fazio gave Roma its first real chance but his header off a corner kick just missed late in the first half Robin Olson made his presence known. He made a heroic saves denying Sergio Ramos header coming off a Toni Kroos cross. Just a few minutes later Isco was in a dangerous possession Inside the Box but again Robin Olson rise to the occasion making a one-handed save on what would have been a certain goal. Roma had done such a great job defensively up to that point up to that point in the game despite being dominated they nearly shutout Real Madrid out in the first half. However in the 45th minutes Isco curled in an absolute Superb free-kick into the back of the net to give Real Madrid the 1-0 lead nothing Robin Olson could have done about that one as real Madrid got the lead they deserved. the first half would end with a 1-0 lead in favor of Real Madrid.
Cengiz Under battles Serio Ramos and Casamiro in the first half
Despite being down it was a very productive first half they defended well and Robin Olsen was performing to an high level. Concerning thing was going into the second half is Roma would have to be more aggressive which in all likelihood would end up leaving themselves exposed at the back. Very early in the second half Cengiz Under Made Real Madrid nervous for the first time. The Turkish youngster drove the ball just outside the box whipping a vicious shot but Keylor Navas what would make the amazing save it would have been a sure goal but Navas somehow made the save. That was the chance and you can see the frustration on his face when it was saved. Real Madrid would have an almost immediate response as Gareth Bale used his speed to crack a shot off coming off a counter attack but missed. A few moments later Roma would make her first substitution of the game as the Lorenzo Pellegrini came in for a 19 year old debuted Nicolo Zaniolo I thought I did well considering the circumstances he will be very happy on how he played on his professional debut. Shortly after Luka Modric hit a through ball from Isco but Robin Olsen made a unbelievable save. Just a minute later in the 58 minute Real Madrid could not be denied. Luka Modric started a fast break with Gareth Bale. When Gareth Bale stays to run there is nothing you can do about it with his frightening speech. While on the counter attack Gareth Bale found the back of the net in what was an unsaveable ball for Robin Olson as a Madrid lead 2-0. At this point in the game Roma were looking to make it respectable to continue to put in a great performance despite the score. Roma would make a another change as Diego Perotti made his season debut coming in for Stephan El Shaarawy. Moments later Alex Kolarov fired a deep shot that was dealt by Navas. Roma got another opportunity when Kostas Manolas saw his header go wide off a corner. Real Madrid continue to push and Roma’s continued to defend to the best of their ability but in actuality they were getting tired. They never gave up on the test though this opted Roma to make another change as Patrik Schick came on for Steven nzonzi. Patrik Schick Immediately tried a deep strike but misfired. Late in the game Robin Olson was really proven to the world the incredible abilities he has. Real Madrid came after them but Robin Olsen denied Luka Modric Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio. The Roma goalkeeper continue to play a brilliant football. Very late in the match Edin Dzeko put his head to a header from Lorenzo Pellegrini cross to try to minimize the deficit. Robin Olson had another save. However in the 90th minutes Real Madrid sub Marino scored an outrageous goal from outside the box to give Real Madrid the 3-0 lead and the eventually win. A unreal strike from the Real Madrid in youth product. That would end the match with Real Madrid proving they can cope without Cristiano Ronaldo getting their first win of the Champions League campaign. Roma ultimately falling short despite putting together a fantastic effort Di Francesco and his side can take real positives from this Match but no complaints about the result. This match will only help them improve as I believe this will help them get their season back on track but it’s all smiles for Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu while Roma leaves Madrid in frustration.
Last year’s Champions League finalists came into this game against Real Madrid and horrible form. Coming off a second-half collapse over the weekend that allowed a relegation team to steal points from Roma from the Stadio Olimpico. Defensive issues have highlighted Roma’s form this evening and on the biggest stage of them all against Real Madrid to kick off the Champions League Roma made improvements In that area. Heading into this game obviously Roma wanted to get a point but more importantly I think it was important for Roma to put in a really good performance even if it results in a loss they are in a Champions League group that is incredibly easy and they will get out of it. The important part of this game was not that they lost to Real Madrid it was they made steady improvements defensively and Robin Olson was unbelievable. Real Madrid did cruise to a comfortable 3-0 when behind goals from Gareth Bale Isco and Mariano. A unbelievably strong performance from Real Madrid as they have shown the world they do not need Cristiano Ronaldo to have sustainable success in Europe this is still one of the most dangerous teams in Europe. Real Madrid were sharks in the water and Roma were fishes trying to hold off the inevitable. Despite all this defensively they looked incredibly strong they made some mistakes but massive improvements were made. In this match they had to sit back and take the game as it comes but they did a great job in their game plan. Defensively they were determined and fought hard they tried to hold off Real Madrid as long as they could but there was only so much they could do. Important thing about this game is they made strides in the right direction because of how well they play defensively and the fact that they made Real Madrid earn everything. It was a routine Victory but Roma fought hard that’s all you can ask against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium. We saw a professional debut of Nicolo Zaniolo the 19 year old was incredibly raw but I thought he performed a very well under the circumstances I admire the courage of Di Francesco for putting him into the lineup in this situation. I thought Under played really well as well when they went forward he always looks like he was in an attacking position you could see how hard he was working for the team. The man of the match today goes to Robin Olsen as he receives it for the second time. He was absolutely world class today he by all accounts justifies that he is the perfect replacement for Allison he has time and time again this season proven his value to the team absolutely superb today. This performance will give them motivation and confidence to try to get their league campaign on the right track with games against Bologna and Frosinone Di Francesco and Roma should feel good on how they perform today and take this and improve on it going forward. The opposition was just too powerful to contain there can be no complaints on how they performed.
Man Of The Match: Robin Olsen (2)
Next Match: Vs Bologna , Sunday September23rd,2018
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 4
Pass Accuracy: 80%
On Target: 11
Pass Accuracy: 90%