By Prince Dulzy
At the Stadio Olimpico, La Liga giants were disappointing for the majority of the first-half but clicked into gear to see off their Serie A opponents in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.
Real Madrid’s first goal came from a deflected Cristiano Ronaldo strike when he had the space to produce a trademark turn and shot from the left wing, which clipped Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi before finding the back of the net.
His goal was a perfect riposte to his critics, who think probably the Portuguese is past his best and has been unable to score for a very long time away from Santiago Bernabeu.
The Real Madrid superstar, Ronaldo, is now the first player to score 40 Champions League knockout goals.
Roma pressed for an equaliser and went close through Edin Dzeko and William Vainqueur, while the hosts also had a strong penalty appeal turned down.
Real Madrid remained a threat as the Italians left space at the back and substitute Jese Rodriguez made them pay within four minutes of taking to the field, drilling a low shot into the bottom corner to seal the victory.
The result leaves Roma with a mountain to climb and the tie now looks a formality as Real look to confirm their progress to the last eight on March 8.
Elsewhere, Julian Draxler netted a superb brace to put Gent’s Champions League hopes in jeopardy asWolfsburg ran out 3-2 winners at the Ghelamco Arena.
The German side marked their first appearance in the Champions League knockout stages with a first-leg victory over a Gent side that had been beaten just once in 30 previous home games, although the hosts mounted a late fightback to keep the tie close.
AS Roma 0-2 Real Madrid
AA Gent 2-3 VFL Wolfsburg
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