Roma 0-2 Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese give Real healthy first-leg lead
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 18/02/16 7:04am
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and sub Jese gave Real Madrid a 2-0 win going into the Champions League last-16 second leg against Roma.
Ronaldo broke the deadlock in the 57th minute at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night through a deflected effort from 20 yards, but Roma will feel they should have had a late penalty after Dani Carvajal brought Alessandro Florenzi down inside the area.
Substitute Jese added a second with four minutes remaining, just four minutes after coming on, firing home low from 15 yards.
Real take their lead to the Bernabeu for the second leg on March 8, where they will look to reach the last eight of the competition for the sixth straight season.
Roma dropped former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko to the bench, while Real manager Zinedine Zidane, managing his first Champions League game, made two changes from the side that beat Athletic Bilbao 4-2 at the weekend.
The hosts' defence stood firm in the first half, reducing Real to just one half-chance as Marcelo's superb first-time volley from the left corner of the penalty area dropped inches wide of Wojciech Szczesny's left-hand post.
It took 55 minutes for either side to hit the target, courtesy of Dani Carvajal's weak effort at Szczesny, but two minutes later the 10-time champions were ahead.
Released down the left by Marcelo, Ronaldo cut inside with a fine flick through his legs before seeing his shot from the edge of the area fly past Szczesny into the far right corner via the boot of Alessandro Florenzi.
Roma went closest in the second half through William Vainqueur, who saw his 25-yard effort fly just past Keylor Navas' left-hand post, before Real went close at the other end a minute later through Ronaldo's close-range header, which trickled wide of the far post.
Karim Benzema's unmarked header from six yards fortuitously hit the back of Lucas Digne's head with 13 minutes remaining, but the hosts felt they should have had a penalty with time running out after Carvajal flew in on Florenzi.
Nothing was given, and Real went on to double their advantage through Jese, who drove forward 40 yards unchallenged before slotting a superb effort into the bottom left corner from inside the area.