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Champions League: Ronaldo downs wasteful Roma

(London Post)      Cristiano Ronaldo might not be the most popular man in Madrid at the moment, but he still produces on the pitch. Real Madrid’s opponents Roma though, could have written a very different story.

On the scoreboard, Real Madrid comfortably progressed to their sixth consecutive Champions League quarterfinal, but Roma had more than enough chances to cause one of the great European upsets.

Edin Dzeko missed a glorious chance to give Roma a much-needed early lead, but fired wide after being put through one-on-one with Keylor Navas. It was to be the story of the first half as Roma exposed space in Real Madrid’s defense but failed to make it count, while the Spanish side took shots whenever they could, totalling 17 at the end of the first 45 minutes.

Mohamed Salah missed another wonderful opportunity in the second half as Roma’s lack of composure in front of goal looked set to haunt them. Shortly after the hour mark, and somewhat inevitably, it did. Cristiano Ronaldo turned home Lucas’ cross from close-range to score his 13th Champions League goal this season, and his 90th all-time in the competition. The Italians fell apart and three minutes later, Ronaldo slipped in James Rodriguez who fired through Wojciech Szczesny’s legs to seal the tie.

The draw for the Champions League quarterfinal will be on March 18.

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