AS Roma shocked Real Madrid CF in their UEFA Champions League Group C encounter at the Santiago Bernabéu on Matchday Five – the first win for an Italian side at the stadium since 1967.
Roma captain Francesco Totti capped an excellent display with a neat goal on 27 minutes, and that strike proved enough to see Fabio Cappello's side through, despite Madrid's dominance.
The result means that Roma have an excellent chance of progressing to the second round group stage, and, with AEK Athens drawing 1-1 with KRC Genk, Madrid are guaranteed their place in the next round.
With heavy rain pouring on to the pitch, the game began at a frantic tempo. Both sides seemed willing to push men forward, and an entertaining spectacle was in the offing.
Simple chance spurned
Certainly Madrid should have taken an early lead. With ten minutes played, Michel Salgado cropped up on the right flank and whipped in an excellent cross to Raúl González. Normally an outstanding finisher, the Spain striker headed what seemed a simple chance wide.
The hosts looked to have reaped the rewards of their early efforts when they had the ball in the net on 25 minutes. Zinedine Zidane's shot was spilled to Raúl who tapped into the net – only to be flagged offside.
Madrid dominated the possession, but Roma looked dangerous whenever they got forward. Totti was afforded a lot of space in behind Marco Delvecchio and Vincenzo Montella, and looked threatening.
This threat brought a tangible result on 27 minutes as Montella wriggled into the box, before getting in a left-footed shot. A host of Madrid defenders closed him down, and the ball was deflected to an unmarked Totti. He made no mistake, slamming the ball into the net at the near post.
Ronaldo burst into life
Madrid reacted with panache, storming down the other end. Raúl had a penalty appeal turned down before Ronaldo burst into life, causing all sorts of problems for the Roma defence.
The visitors managed to get to half-time with their lead intact, but the second half brought more of the same. Madrid won eleven corners in the second period alone yet failed to break down a stubborn Roma defence marshalled by the excellent Walter Samuel.
Madrid certainly had chances, with Raúl twice going close. Antonioli was impressive for the visitors, and Vincente del Bosque’s side were too often caught offside.
Ronaldo was most culpable of this offence, and was withdrawn on 78 minutes, along with Zidane, who suffered a thigh strain. Roma now need to draw against AEK in their final game to guarantee progression but, with performances like this, the Italians must be aiming for the latter stages of the competition.
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