Score: Real Madrid 2 A.S Roma 0FT
Following a disappointing result over the weekend for both Real Madrid and Roma two most inconsistent teams in Europe faceoff head to head in a crucial Champions League match. Through four games in this competition Real Madrid and Roma find themselves on the top of Group G with nine points apiece. For these two historic clubs only one point is needed in the remaining two matches to secure qualification for The Knockout rounds. The winner of this much important match in all likelihood will win the group. In the first meeting between the two teams Real Madrid beat Roma 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. Neither team has really played all that well this season as both have had some serious issues with consistency. It was viewed as a very evenly-matched game but due to the history and Prestige of Real Madrid the Los Blancos came in as slight favorites. Roma welcomed Madrid to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome a place in which teams find it difficult to win. The first 45 minutes could not have gone much better for Roma they were the better team throughout but much like over the weekend they failed to deliver in front of goal as they had many opportunities. Late in the second half Cengiz Under failed to give Roma a certain lead with a horrendous miss. After the first half it was 0-0 in the second half the momentum shifted into Real Madrid’s favor.Being already short-handed with the looming injury of Edin Dzeko Roma struggled in second-half. Roma made too many mistakes and Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez respectively took advantage of opportunities against a Robin Olsen that was doing everything he could to stop Real Madrid who showed up on the nights at the stadio olimpico. Real Madrid went on to win 2-0. However despite the loss Plzen’s victory over cska Moscow ensured qualification for the round of 16 for Roma as they qualify for the second consecutive year. However the road will not get easier as they face Inter Milan this weekend there are certainly some positives to take but mistakes buried them while to more Roma players suffer injuries. Di Francesco’s Limited options could not Inspire them to upset Real Madrid. As important matches are coming up on Roma’s schedule injury crisis has gone bad to worse but nonetheless they have clinched their place and the Champions League knockout rounds as Roma leave the stadio olimpico in disappointment.
Roma Icon Franesco Totti inducted into the Roma Hall of Fame Prior to Kickoff
Roma had a slight change in line up as they continue to be short-handed with the absentees of daniele de Rossi and Lorenzo Pellegrini. Roma would operate out of there a custom 4-2-3-1 formation. Returning after being out last week would be Robin Olsen who is a much-needed player in this match. Roma would return to their strongest backline in defense. At left-back would be Alex Kolarov. Beside him would be the centre-back partnership Kostas Manolas Federico Fazio meanwhile Alexandro Florenzi returned to the starting lineup at right back. In the defensive Midfield we would see the exact same duo we have seen over the last few games. With daniele de Rossi still out Roma’s defensive Midfield Partnership of Steven Nzonzi and Bryan Cristante together again. There would be a slight change up in Roma’s attacking Midfield. Regarding the injury to Lorenzo Pellegrini Roma nineteen-year-old Nicolo Zaninlo fills in having made his professional debut against Real Madrid during the first meeting. On the left wing would be Roma’s most consistent player this season Stephan El Shaarawy then on the right would be Cengiz Under the Turkish Talent gets another start in this Champions League campaign after the Roma board announced that they will not listen to any offers for The Talented Winger. Upfront in a dramatic change in events would be Patrik Schick starting for the third consecutive game. This was not the initial plan but a training injury to Edin Dzeko has caused DiFrancesco to call upon the Czech Striker once again. Roma’s bench is quite thin with only Justin kluivert and Juan Jesus as possible impactful players from the bench.
Following the preparations and predictions for this much anticipated match we were almost ready to kick off in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico. However prior to the match there was a ceremony recognizing the greatness of Roma icon Francesco Totti as he was sworn into the Roma Hall of Fame before kick-off. Francesco Totti retired in 2017 after 27 years with a club universally recognized as Roma’s greatest ever player and one of the most loyal players in the history of football. The Roma supporters and the Real Madrid supporters both gave him a standing ovation to show respect to the Great Francesco Totti. After the celebration the match kicked off in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico as Champions League places were at stake between two iconic teams. From the very beginning of the game Roma looked confident on the ball as they tried to control the pace of the game. Alex Kolarov early strike gave Roma in early chance as the Serbian struck from close. It became possession-based football as the ones a lot of chances flowing early. To a certain extent there was a lot of keep away between the two teams trying to orchestrate a high-quality look. Unfortunately Roma’s a recent injury problems would worsen as Edin Dzeko was already out for the game. El Shaarawy would join him after picking up an early knock. That followed a Benzema strike saved by Robin Olsen. Roma would have to go to their bench and take out their best player after Luka Modric stepped on El Shaarawy’s foot forcing him to come out. Justin kluivert would replace him as Roma subsequently sabotaged their best asset off the bench. Just terrible luck with injuries over the last few weeks Roma’s Squad selection is getting thinner and thinner with all the injuries. Following the substitution Schick came really close as he put his foot through a Alex Kolarov cross that Courtois dealt with. Although once in awhile Real Madrid pushed in a dangerous area it was Roma who proved to have superiority at least up to that point. Just prior to half hour mark Bryan Cristante set up Justin kluivert with a wonderful opportunity. The Dutch teenager got into great space attempting a powerful shot from inside the Box. Kluivert put a little too much on it as it blasted over. Despite the miss he got into great position the score despite the finish not being the best. Just a few minutes later Roma came on the verge of scoring multiple times as it was an onslaught of chances from the Italians. Bryan Cristante found Federico Fazio with header that missed. Following that Patrik Schick had his shot saved in which Steven nzonzi from Deep try to hit on the rebound. It’s an came out one more time for Alex Kolarov who came within inches of scoring. Real Madrid responded with a Chance of their own. Toni Kroos hit vicious shot at Robin Olsen but unfortunately for Real Madrid the Swedish goalkeeper made a miraculously heroic save as lunged out using his feet to clear the ball out of Roma danger area. A absolutely world-class save my jaw on the floor after seeing it. Alex Kolarov came close as Roma tried to respond just a few minutes later. everything was going well for Roma up until the final moments of the first half. Nicolo Zaniolo set up Cengiz Under with a perfect pass leaving the ball right in front of his feet mutually at an open net and somehow someway he’s unable to stick it into the net one of the worst misses of the Season. He is one of Romans best players and I genuinely felt bad for him because prior to that he was having an exceptional game. After the first half it was 0-0.
El Shaarawy gets consoled but Real Madrid Captain Sergio Ramos after El Shaarawy had to leave with an Injury
A very strong first half for Roma as they were much the better team throughout the opening 45 minutes. However with that being said the first half ends with a sour taste as under had a chance to get give them the lead. Within minutes of the start of the second half Roma make a massive error through Federico Fazio’s poor judgment allowing Gareth Bale to come through in the 47th minute in a Unstoppable position for Robin Olsen has he scored to give Real Madrid a 1-0 lead. Superiority continued to sway in Real Madrid favor all the momentum was sucked out of Roma. They did have a few chances early in the second half with Alex Kolarov and Alexandro Florenzi even Justin Kluivert coming really close. However it was about to go from bad to worse in the 59th minute as Karim Benzema created space and found Lucas Vasquez with a headed pass from close distance. Robin Olsen did not have time to react it due to the defenses collapse Inside the Box as Vasquez scored to give Real the 2-0 lead. It was almost as if it was a different team in the second half after the late miss to end the first half the Roma were playing without much confidence Roma made their first change of the night at Steven Nzonzi who is having a rare off night made room for Anton Coric who was be making his second appearance for the Romans since his arrival in the summer. Robin Olsen saved Marcelo and Karim Benzema opportunities prior to the second goal. Robin Olsen was one of the very few bright spots in the second half in what was an otherwise a huge disaster. It’s like it wasn’t even the same team mentally Roma collapsed after conceding it does not help due to all the injuries but they could have gotten more out of the game. Shortly after Roma picks up another injury as Nicolo Zaniolo had to be taken out as a Rick Karsdorp came on to replace them. Just a miserable day with players getting injured and mistakes being made. The match kept going as Roma continued to struggle. Alex Kolarov tried to get Roma back in the game with a deep strike from outside the area but sadly was unable to deliver. Real Madrid for the most part controlled possession throughout the second half giving Roma mutually no chance or opportunity to even get a goal back. Florenzi found Patrik Schick in stoppage-time but the Czech Striker was unable to come through as the final whistle blew with Real Madrid finishing off of Roma at the stadio Olimpico 2-0 almost certainly winning the group. Due to Viktoria Plzen beating cska Moscow Roma will still qualify for The Knockout rounds but a very disappointing second half from Roma as the fans at the stadio olimpico booed the team on a night that should have been about the greatness Francesco Totti. I’ll tell you one thing Roma lacked that leader tonight Francesco Totti type player really is something they need that is now two consecutive losses for Roma as they prepare for Inter Milan on Sunday. DiFrancesco did what he could with the limited options he had to work with Roma just couldn’t deliver.
Florenzi and Marcelo share a moment at the end of the match as Real and Roma advance to the Champions League Round of 16.
Another underwhelming performance for Roma after an equally frustrating showing over the weekend. At the stadio olimpico they hosted Real Madrid in a hugely important match in the Champions League with the possibility of winning the group and clinching a spot in the Champions League round of 16. It was a game of two halves for Roma after losing the first match against Real Madrid 3-0 at the beginning of the Champions League campaign they showed some progress but it truly wasn’t enough after falling to Real Madrid 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico largely behind missed opportunities and mistakes. These were two of the most inconsistent teams in Europe this season and it showed throughout the match. Not only are Roma going through some underwhelming changes the seasons but the injury bug that has held them back the last few weeks has hit again this time targeting Roma most important player. Roma were without out edin dzeko who is Roma top goal scorer this season in the Champions League. He was going to be absolutely essential if Roma were going to get a result tonight. I thought going into the game that Roma were in a good position to win with how poorly Real Madrid have played over the last month. Roma have been inconsistent against some of the lesser opposition but oddly have performed well against some of the better teams I thought that they would play up to the competition and early in the match is certainly looked like they were going win. In the first half Roma could not have done much better they were without a doubt the better team and had several opportunities and a few strokes of luck could have giving them the opportunity to pull off the upset and win the group. However a event of misfortune shifted momentum after a very convincing first half. Cengiz Under missed and absolute sitter one of the easiest chances of the season. An embarrassing attempts as the Turkish star had basically an empty net. Roma had momentum and confidence up to that point and we’re playing quite well however in the second half quite simply put they did not show up. It seemed like after conceding Gareth Bale’s opening goal after a horrendous defense a mistake that Roma desire to win wasn’t as important. Both goals from Real Madrid could have been easily avoided with better defensive awareness. It was a rough showing in the second half as Real Madrid we’re clearly the better team. It didn’t help that both Stephan El Shaarawy and Nicolo Zaniolo picked up injuries. Di Francesco was already dealing with a very limited bench. Roma this made it difficult for a come back. Don’t get me wrong Roma performed very poorly and the second half but they didn’t have the resources off the bench to make a major impact and that’s really hurt him especially late on. Clinical finishing continues and continues to be an issue and Roma had a hard time dealing with it even though they were on a short week they could have done better making it more difficult on Real Madrid. The game gave Roma a sour taste in their mouth with opportunities in chances in the first half that could have gave them the three points. The Man of the match for Roma goes to Robin Olsen who again put in and really excellent performance against Real Madrid that included a jaw dropping save in the first half. Roma didn’t play particularly well throughout the match but Robin Olsen always seems to give everything he has for the team it is what makes him such a special player for Roma he truly plays for the badge and gives it everything he has. Other players also do the same but lately his effort in goal has been superb. Replacing Allison was always going to be a very difficult task given what he has had to deal with I think Robin Olsen has done a tremendous job this season. Despite the loss because Plzen beat cska Moscow Roma have guaranteed a place in The Knockout stage for the second consecutive season. If This team can get healthy they can go on a big run once again but despite qualification this loss leaves Roma with a bitter taste in their mouth after being booed after the final whistle. Roma has to learn from their mistakes they made in the and then apply it at home this weekend against a very tough Inter Milan side. The injuries are truly concerning but Point Blank Roma need to find a way to win games however qualification give them something positive despite the results.
Man Of the Match: Robin Olsen (4)
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 5
Pass Accuracy: 79%
On Target: 7
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Champions League Group G
1.Real Madrid 4-0-1 12Pts (Through to the Knockout Stage)
2.A.S Roma 3-0-2 9pts (Through to Knockout Stage)
3. Viktoria Plzen 1-1-3 4pt
4. Cska Moscow 1-1-3 4pt