Critical Points From Real Madrid, AS Roma Game

By: Obiweluozo MartinsIt was a massive Champions league second leg between Spanish giants Real Madrid and Italian capital side AS Roma in a frenetic encounter.At the magnificent Estadio Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with grazing turf saw top quality football as quality players from both sides like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez seems to influence the game in the favour of the Galaticos while AS Roma trio of Stephan El Sharaawy, Miralem Pjanić and Mohammed Salah in particular have other ideas as Real saw off a resilient AS Roma side at the colourful Bernabeu arena. We a look at what influence proceedings and the final result as both teams sought for a place in the last 16 of the Champions league with Real Madrid coming out on top on 4-0 aggregate. Soccer Net Nigeria highlights the critical points from the Real Madrid/As Roma encounter. CLASS PREVAILED OVER AS ROMA. It was an end to end first half where players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohammed Salah were on the offence to give their side an edge on the night with Ronaldo coming close at the edge of the box and Salah causing Madrid defence a problem (Marcelo in particular) with his blistering pace and trickery movement. With quality and class in both midfield where Seydou keita and Modric were doing midfield battle alongside Kroos creating chances ,it was no fluke as chances were created but squandered though at both and of the pitch as the first half ended without a goal. Just after the intermission Real Madrid looked uncoordinated at the back and allowed Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah some space at the back which Madrid had the wood work to thank for not conceding on both circumstances. A moment of class came when former Madrid Legend Zinedine Zidane made a telling tactical substitution hauling off record signing Gareth Bale for little but talented Lucas Vazquez (24) for Madrid first change on the right.It was a positive substitution as it paid of just barely three minute of his introduction just after receiving a pass from impressive Modric to square for onrushing Ronaldo with a classy step over to beat his mark and set up Ronaldo for the opening goal in the 64th minutes of the encounter. It was that moment of brilliance that summed up AS Roma Champions league season as they conceded yet again few minutes later. MAGNIFICENT MASTER CLASS FROM MODRIC
One man who was on top of the game is ever present and reliable midfield player Luka Modric who controlled proceedings for Real Madrid alongside German Toni Kroos. He showed his class and quality as he nutmegged an AS Roma player in midfield at the 28th minute of the game to engineer a swift attacking move as Gareth Bale, Ronaldo and Danilo ran into spaces threatening Roma defence as a result of that incisive midfield pass from Luka Modric. Then came on Lucas Vazquez in the 61st minute and Modric was there again with a telling contribution setting up the forward who fed Cristiano Ronaldo for the breakthrough in the 64th minute of the match. It was a dominant display from the Croatian midfielder as Real Madrid and Modric marched on to the last 8 of the Champions league in a convincing style after a 4-0 aggregate win over the Italian outfit. SWIFT COMBINATION OF JAMES AND RONALDO 
The quality coming from the Madrid side is pretty to see alongside the magnificent Bernabeu turf which ensured a football made easy syndrome as playmakers like Kroos ,James, Modric and Brazilian little Pea Casemiro connected well in transition with the attacking duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez as the talismanic Ronaldo set up James in a swift one two touches with James running into position to fire from an acute angle beating the AS Roma goalie to make it 2-0 on the night and personally eliminate the Romans in the interesting context.It was a moment of brilliance from the duo as they combined in style to ease off Roma as the Galaticos were spotted in dancing and charismatic celebration with closed hands style from James and stylish Brazilian left lack Marcelo to the delight of Bernabeu fans who will have one eye on the Champions league as it appears that the La Liga BBVA is gradually slipping away from their reach. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NO 1 AND NO 2 PLAYER

After scoring and setting up the second for Real Madrid, Ronaldo summed up a night full of anxiety as he failed to finish just from six yards away from goal .It was a wrong decision from the talisman who side footed agonizing wide with the watching fans dismayed at such a miss. Ronaldo’s contact to the ball probably let him down as he went for a side foot finish instead of toe pocking the ball into the roof of the net as he usually does in exceptional fashion.It was clear on the night how anxious and eager the Madrid star was to get on the score sheet with some arguing that he is chasing his (Ronaldo) personal record. Such was the different between the No.1 (MESSI) and No.2 Player (C. Ronaldo) as Messi showed calmness and maturity to slot past Petr Cech under higher pressure from the Arsenal fateful to an arguably experience and better goal tender in Petr Cech. Ronaldo would have added gloss to the score line had the forward show calmness to pock the ball into the net as AS Roma goalkeeper was already beaten to the ground with the ball rolling helplessly away from the second bar. STANDING OVATION FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE VETERAN With AS Roma 2 goals down an on the verge of realistic elimination from the hands of the Madrid guards, Roma chose a moment to bring on their veteran royal and loyal servant Francesco Totti in the 74th minute of the game as he came on to replace Italian (Egypt-born) Stephan El Sharaawy as standing ovation from the entire Bernabeu supporters was accorded to the talismanic and veteran Francesco Totti who scored a crucial penalty kick to hand 10 man Italy a 1-0 vital win over dominant Australia in the Quarter-Finals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.It was a moment of respect althrough the Bernabeu background as Brazilian duo of Marcelo and Casemiro offered special handshake and respect to whom (Totti) it is due. What a way to mark a likely Champions league last appearance in a long lasting carrier in such a special night of football at the colourful Bernabeu Stadium. SALAH UMPROLIFIC IN FRONT OF GOAL One man should have reduced the deficit for AS Roma or rather help mount an unlikely come back to the game was not even center forward Edin Dzeko but well placed Egyptian Salah who did well to run in behind the defence utilizing his pace at the maximum but just failed to beat Keylor Navas in goal. In the first period Madrid defence was let loose as Salah got on to a pass with only the Keylor Navas to beat in goal but the Egyptian fluffed his chances.Instead of using his favourite left foot he blasted really surprisingly wide with the right foot with the Bernabeu Stadium breathing a sigh of relief in just a moment. Once again in the second period Salah had a chance to make amends following a counterattacking move which left Real Madrid back line in total disarray as Salah ran into Sergio Ramos who intercepted him and with the unclear ball returning back to well-placed Salah after Danilo under pressure from Seydou Keita failed to deal properly with the ball. This time the unmarked Salah squandered the chance again with everyone wondering what is wrong with the menacing Egyptian forward who could just not convert his chances by blasting wrongly wide with the right foot yet again. As I wonder about those missed chances looking at Salah’s face I hope the young Egyptian is not reserving those goals against the Super Eagles in Kaduna and in Alexander when Nigeria vs. Egypt match takes center stage. [post_ad]

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