Actual Madrid took a giant step towards the Champions League quarter-finals using a comfortable 2-0 win at Roma.
Zinedine Zidane marked his Champions League debut in charge of Actual Madrid using a 2-0 win at Roma, as second-half objectives from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese Rodriguez settled the very first leg of the last-16 tie.
Ronaldo broke the deadlock just after 57 minutes when his long-range shot clipped Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi before locating the back in the net.
Madrid weathered a late rally in the hosts just before putting themselves firmly on course to attain the final eight on the competition for a sixth-successive season with a second target within the closing stages.
Substitute Jese was allowed enough time within the 86th minute to angle a shot in to the bottom left corner of Wojciech Szczesny’s purpose, leaving Roma requiring a second-leg miracle to progress.
Having a trip for the Spanish capital to come, and obtaining conceded 16 objectives inside the group stage, Roma were understandably unwilling to stand and trade shots with a single from the heavyweights of European football.
Their policy of sitting deep and playing around the counter just about worked ahead of the break, but Stephan El Shaarawy failed to out-run Madrid defender Raphael Varane when played by means of on aim.
Regardless of dominating possession and territory, Madrid failed to register a single shot on target inside the opening half.
Their most effective try came from an unlikely supply, as Marcelo developed a volley from the left side of the location that dipped more than the diving Szczesny but just landed beyond the far post.
Ronaldo – who walked out of Tuesday’s pre-match media conference right after being pressed about his scoring record away from house – did have a long-range free-kick that fizzed wide.
The Portuguese was then fortunate to escape a booking to get a deliberate, and rather apparent, handball by the touchline in what was a frustrating 45 minutes for the visitors.
It didn’t, nevertheless, take Ronaldo extended to produce a constructive impact right after the interval.
Marcelo’s pass down the left wing put Ronaldo one-on-one with Florenzi. He cut back inside using a trick ahead of hitting a shot from just outdoors the region that took a deflection off the Roma defender to loop beyond Szczesny.
Spalletti’s response to falling behind was to send on Edin Dzeko in spot of El Shaarawy, providing Roma a focal point along their forward line.
Only Varane’s outstretched leg stopped the substitute from finding around the finish of Mohamed Salah’s low cross from the appropriate, when Dzeko set up a shooting likelihood for William Vainqueur that flashed just wide.
Ronaldo narrowly missed a opportunity to get a second aim at the other end, but Jese was on hand to provide Madrid a commanding lead inside the tie with a fantastic run and finish four minutes from time.