Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 89th Champions League goal while second-half substitute Jese added a late second as the Catalans took a massive step towards the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win at Stadio Olimpico in Roma on Wednesday night.
The Portuguese broke the deadlock after 57 minutes when his long-range shot clipped Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi before finding the back of the net, with his 12th goal in seven Champions League games this campaign.
Roma dug deep in a bid to claim a share of the spoils, but the visitors kept the host at bay, however, dozens of the 55,612 home crowd began leaving their seats five minutes from the finish when Jese flashed a shot across several defenders to beat Szczesny low at his far post.
Speaking after the game, Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, who marked his full coaching debut in the competition with a win, said: “We’re all happy because winning here wasn’t easy but we we’re not through yet. We still have the second leg to play.
“I’m happy for the way the lads played, especially when we improved in the second half. Everyone expects Ronaldo to score, and he fulfilled expectations.”
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti, who was left frustrated as his side failed to capitalize on a host of opportunities said: “We had so many chances tonight and I’m so disappointed we didn’t stick the ball in the net.
“The lads gave it everything, they played well but we just couldn’t score. And when you give Ronaldo an inch, he takes a mile.”
The victory gives Real a huge advantage ahead of the return leg at their Santiago Bernabeu home in three weeks time.