AS Roma 0-2 Real Madrid: Player Ratings
Rating the performances of the Real Madrid and Roma players from their 1st leg Champions League round of 16 encounter.
Keylor Navas – 7
A potentially match-saving clearance to deny an onrushing El Shaarawy early in the second half was the Costa Rican’s high-point in an otherwise dull game for him.
Dani Carvajal – 7
Carvajal was everywhere on the right side for Real Madrid, keeping Lucas Digne at bay while advancing up the field himself to link up with Luka Modric and James Rodriguez. The Spaniard could deem himself lucky not to have conceded a penalty when he took down Florenzi with the ball nowhere close.
Sergio Ramos – 7.5
A disciplined performance at the back for Real’s captain. He was outrun by Mohamed Salah during a counter-attack but otherwise had a pretty solid game. Ramos gained more strength and confidence to match Salah as the game progressed.
Raphael Varane – 8.5
A brilliant defensive display by the young centre-back, who continues to grow in stature as one of Europe’s top defenders. His pace and strength to deny El Shaarawy from pulling the trigger late in the first half was reflective of his assurance at the back for Zinedine Zidane’s side. He also made a defiant clearance in the second half to stop a whizzing Mohamed Salah ball from finding a Roma player in the box.
Marcelo – 7
Nearly produced the goal of the Champions League season with an outside of the boot strike which narrowly went off target. Performance wise, he was largely subdued by a defensive masterclass from captain Alessandro Florenzi. As a result, he failed to make too many of his crosses count.
Defensively he was suspect as well, constantly threatened by the pace of Mohamed Salah on the wings. His assist for Ronaldo’s opener gives him the extra ratings.
Toni Kroos – 7
The German sat very deep for Real Madrid, almost as a third centre-back. Dictated most of Real Madrid’s attacks through Luka Modric and Isco. Defensively solid, he prevented the likes of Radja Nainggolan and Miralem Pjanic from creating a clear cut chance.
Luka Modric – 7
Luka Modric was always threatening to unlock the Roma defence with his intensity-filled runs on the right side of midfield. The Croatian linked up well with Carvajal and James to keep the PSG-loaned Lucas Digne on his toes, but failed to find that killer pass to disturb Roma’s centre-halves.
Isco – 7.5
Isco played more or less the same role as Modric on the other side of the pitch. He however, managed to be more incisive through the Roma midfield, although it helped his cause that he had Cristiano Ronaldo to work with.
James Rodriguez – 6.5
Not the best of games for the Colombian star, although he did manage to create a couple of chances from the right wing. Rodriguez could not produce that moment of magic he is so renowned for and should have hit the target when he headed wide unmarked from around 10 yards out.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8
The 3-time Ballon d’Or winner managed to silence his critics by netting away from home for the first time since late November. It was a brilliant goal – onside from a Marcelo pass down the wings, a trademark back-heel to unsettle Florenzi, followed by a curler – albeit deflected – into the top corner.
He burst into life following the goal, haring down the wings and getting into good positions in an attempt to extend Real’s lead.
Karim Benzema – 7
A frustrating evening for the French striker, despite his heavy involvement in most of Real Madrid’s work in the final third. Was effectively closed down by Kostas Manolas.
Mateo Kovacic – 7
Kovacic replaced Isco at the hour mark and made a number of dangerous run-ins from left central midfield at a Roma defence distraught after having conceded the goal.
Jese – 7
He did his job in the last 10 minutes by completing a typical Madrid counter-attack with a good low strike through a defender’s legs and put the ball firmly in Real Madrid’s court going into the second leg.
Casemiro – N/A
The Brazilian replaced Ronaldo in the 89th minute to shut up shop.