Second leg of our Round of 16 match happened at our beautiful Bernabeu. I didn’t actually see the match when it happened but I can tell you that watching it unfold on Twitter is torture!
Following our wins over the past two matches (sorry for the lack of recaps on those), I thought we were in a good place going in. We just couldn’t be complacent.
Pre-Match Social Media:
Luka graced us with an entry into the Photoshop competition yet again.
But ToniLive was a bit more basic.
Even Marcelo got in on it.
And Sergio Llull and Luka Doncic were on hand to check out our boys!
Guys! Scarf Man is back!
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Danilo, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos; James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale
Roma: Wojciech Szczesny; Alessandro Florenzi, Kostas Manolas, Ervin Zukanovic, Lucas Digne; Miralem Pjanic, Seydou Keita; Mohamed Salah, Diego Perotti, Stephan El Shaarawy; Edin Dzeko
The first half started with a blow of the whistle. I didn’t get a good look at it but the call was for a Casemiro handball. Middle of the pitch. Nine seconds in. The pessimist in me couldn’t help but think “so this is how it’s gonna be?”
I thought we started rather well. The game wasn’t really tipped in either side’s favor to start.
In the 8th minute, Marcelo had a shot that was just wide of the post. And then ToniLive had a shot that was relatively easy for Woj (spelling Szczesny is hard, you guys) to handle.
Then Roma used Salah’s incredible speed to blast past our defense. Me and The Pony need to have words because he was KILLING me almost the entire match. So was Marcelo, but I digress.
Anyway… Salah blasted down the right and fed Dzeko but his shot was wide when he went one-on-one with Keylor. Good positioning from Keylor but a really bad miss by Dzeko.
Keylor needs a nickname. I mean, I continuously say “Keylor Saves” but he needs something else. K-Nav is okay. But I want something as majestic (dare I say majesterial) as he is.
Woj made a great save on a Modric shot in the 22nd minute. Every keeper gets better against us. What the hell?!
In the 28th minute, Salah had Roma’s next best chance. But like Dzeko, and thankfully for us, he couldn’t make it count.
I realized at this point that every time my commentators said “Szczesny” it sounded like they were saying “Sir Chesney.” FABOD and I dubbed him “Sir Chesney; The Noble Keeper.”
Sir Chesney made good saves against Modric in the 32nd minute and Ronaldo in the 34th minute. Then, the ball fell to Marcelo in the middle and his shot was wide.
Danilo picked up a yellow card in the 37th minute for a late challenge on El Shaarawy, whose hair did not disappoint.
After one minute of extra time, the half ended Real Madrid 0 – 0 Roma.
Roma made one change for the second half as Vainqueur was in for Pjanic and it was the away side that kicked off.
In the 50th minute both Marcelo and Crispy had chances again. Then James attempted a volley but Sir Chesney saved it well. I don’t actually think James got a good foot on it but you can’t score the shots you don’t take, right?
Salah missed another chance in the 50th minute. We were absolutely gifting Roma chances and they were taking them dreadfully.
Keylor made two good saves in the 57th minute to prove why we don’t need to buy a goalkeeper in the summer…
Zizou made his first sub in the 61st minute when Vasquez replaced Bale. This completely blew my theory out of the water that Zizou, like Ancelotti, subscribed to what I like to call “Wenger Time.” Basically, wait until the 70th minute to make any subs unless someone on the squad is dying. Or red carded, but that’s basically the same thing.
Cute little LV immediately made an impact. He provided the assist to Cristiano in the 64th minute after some nice little stepovers I assume he learned from Sir Tans-A-Lot himself.
I love him! Have you been able to tell I’m the biggest cheerleader for half our babies?
We followed that up with another goal in the 68th minute. Ronaldo slid a pass into James and Juggy James (just for jellyace) fired home.
Crispy had another chance in the 70th minute. The pass came from Vasquez again but unfortunately Sir Tans-A-Lot couldn’t test Sir Chesney.
In the 74th minute, Roma brought Totti in for El Shaarawy. The Bernabeu got to its feet and our players even fanboyed over the legend. What I wouldn’t have given to see David Beckham return to the Bernabeu and get that kind of reception. What I wouldn’t give to see a few of our players receive that reception.
Jese came in for Modric in the 76th as Zizou made his second substitution. I mentioned to a friend that, if nothing else, Zizou manages substitutions quite well so far.
In the 78th minute Zukanovic picked up a yellow card for a late tackle on James.
Our final sub came in the 85th minute as Kovacic replaced Casemiro. Interesting substitution, really. I think it was more a statement than anything. A positive statement that said “We’re never satisfied. We’re an attacking team.” I liked it, if I’m honest.
In the 87th minute, Roma’s final substitution was to replace Keita with Maicon. Keita did not receive the same kind of ovation that Totti did, thanks to his years spent playing with Barcelona.
Keylor saved again in the 88th minute on a super volley from Perotti.
After 4 minutes of extra time, that was it. We are in the quarter finals!
Real Madrid 2 – 0 Roma.
Zidane: “All of the players are giving their all”
by Javier Garcia“I’m satisfied; we’ve got through the tie scoring four goals and conceding none”, he declared.
Zinedine Zidane was pleased to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The coach had this to say of the victory over Roma: “I’m happy with how we played. We created chances in the second half and we were much better defensively. Now we have to rest and look to the next La Liga game. We’ll have to wait to see who we play in the next round. Everyone dreams about success in the Champions League and we’re here to try and make it happen. For now, we’ve got to concentrate on Sunday’s game”.
“I’m happy with both matches. Looking at them, we have scored four goals and conceded none. I’m satisfied. We’ll try and improve and give the opposition less chances to score. It’s never easy because we had difficult games between the two legs, but we’ve played the tie that we wanted”.
Affording the opposition chances
“The team looks strong. As I always say, over 90 minutes, the opposition will create chances. In the first half they had opportunities to score, which is normal in a Champions League game against a tough rival. They played very well tonight, but I’m happy”.
“Whenever a team creates chances against you, you have to be angry, it’s normal. We want to play and take risks, and sometimes these things can happen. In the second half, talking to the players, we were more composed in defence. We wanted to play when we had the ball, but when we lost it, we had to defend. When you leave spaces, that creates risks. The important thing was to keep the ball as much as we could”.
“I see him as being ready to play, like they all are. It’s difficult to leave people out. There are some players who get left out of the squad and others who end up sitting on the bench. The important thing is that they all give their all. Every time that he’s asked to play, Lucas delivers and I’m happy with that”.
“I thought that Cristiano played well, at the start of the game he was playing centrally but he’s capable of playing in any position. Bale, James and he were constantly switching positions. They’re all able to play in any of the roles. When we were defending, Cristiano needed to play more centrally. When a defender faces the same player throughout the whole game, they get a better understanding of what they’re going to do. Today they all performed well, both in defence and in attack”.
“I’m happy with how Gareth played out on the left, but he is also able to operate in different positions, he’s also very comfortable on the right. The idea today was to put him on the left, with Cristiano playing more centrally. His crosses created danger. We’ll see what the future brings. The three up top can play in any position”.
“Before the Champions League comes around we’ve got the La Liga games. We’re a professional group and we need to think about Sunday’s game. It’s difficult because we’re in a bit of a tricky situation. The players know that, above all, we’ve got to try and finish second. Our attentions now turn to Las Palmas and then to Sevilla”.
“We knew that it was going to be a tough game. They played well and they gave us a difficult half hour. Then, in the second half we got the goals and we played a better”.
Lucas: “We’re going to give everything to win the Champions League”
by Barbara Jimenez“In the quarter-final there are no easy opponents, they are all strong”, said Keylor Navas.
Lucas Vázquez was the stand out player against Roma, setting up Cristiano Ronaldo for the first goal. The academy graduate couldn’t hide his happiness for making it in to the quarter-finals of the Champions League: “It was a difficult game. In the Champions League the matches are always difficult. The team played well for 90 minutes and the victory was a fair result”.
“We want to win the Champions League and we have to go round by round. We’ll see who we’re drawn against but in this competition there are no easy matches. It’s the best competition, for us, winning it is a dream and we’re going to give everything for it”.
Ovation from the fans
“It makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck and I was very grateful. I always try to help the side as much as I can. Today everything went well, I’m trying to make the most of the chances that the coach is giving me. We all look out for each other, we’re a strong group and you can see that out on the field”.
Keylor Navas: “We’re working hard to win the Champions League”
“We played a solid game. Things went well for us and this motivates us to keep working hard. There were periods where we had to work hard because Roma are a good side, but we did well and we won. During the game there were a few situations where we were attacking and we found it difficult to reorganise ourselves. We know that and we must work to put it right as soon as possible”.
“I always try to work in the best way and my team mates help me too. We all believe that we can fight for the Champions League. We’re working towards that and we want to keep on track. The European Cup is an important title and we want to win it. In the quarter-final there are no easy opponents. They are all strong and we’ll have to go in to it with integrity”.
Casemiro: “We always get help from the stands”
“I always want to play, but you have to respect the coach’s decision. Bit by bit I’m playing games and finding my rhythm and I’m feeling better. We have a great coach who knows what he is doing and I’m ready. We kept a clean sheet today, qualified for the next round and now we’ll look towards the La Liga game”.
Support from the fans
“If we get help from the stands of course it’s easier. The people in the stands are always behind us and they’re our thermometer out on the pitch. They always help us and we have to be together because in the end it’s Real Madrid who wins”.
Teammates in the centre of the field
“We know that Kroos and Modric are great players. It doesn’t matter who plays. We know that we have a lot of success in the centre of the field”.
Bale: “We achieved our objective of playing well and finishing off the tie”
by Barbara Jimenez“We have to give our all to try to be in the Champions League final again”, said Ramos.
Gareth Bale started the game against Roma and he explained the thoughts of the team: “You always need a bit of luck in a game, they had good chances and they could have scored. We defended well and in the second half we scored. We now have to concentrate on La Liga and end the season well”.
“My teammates did a great job in Rome and our objective was to play well today and score to kill off the tie. We achieved that, we’re happy and now we’ll wait for the draw for the next round”.
Ramos: “We played a very complete game”
“The Champions League is a difficult competition and now we have to wait. We have done the important part and we’re in the quarter-finals, let see who we get next. After a difficult season it’s good to take an important step forward in this competition. It’s very positive for the general mood. We have to give our all to try to be in the final again”.
Difficulty of the Champions League
“In this competition there are no easy games. We put in a great performance in Rome and we came back here with a good result. When you get out there you have to forget about that because a team with as much experience as Roma can make things complicated for you”.
“I think we’ve played a very complete game and we have to work on the mistakes that we’ve committed to have better balance in the coming games. In the Champions League the small mistakes can see you eliminated, the margin for error is minimal”.
Contribution from the bench
“You have to admire the work of all the teammates. The squad is big and those who come off of the bench always do well. Lucas is in great form at the moment and always contributes to the team. He unbalances them on the wings with great speed and the intention is that players who come on in the second half bring this sort of quality”.
“They’re the most demanding fans in the world. They want to get the best out of us and see our best performance. It’s always good to get some attention because it makes you react and do your talking out on the field. Everyone likes to feel the love and the Bernabéu is an extraordinary stadium. When they transmit their affection all of the players notice it. In the end the affection is more positive than the whistling, but at times it’s necessary”.
Modric: “It wasn’t easy”
“Roma showed that they are a great team and it wasn’t an easy game. We suffered in some moments and they created chances on the counter with very fast players up front. In the end we scored two goals and deserved to go through”.
Post-Match Social Media:
Paul Clement paid us a visit!!!
Benzema showed his support.
Sergio posted this one that had me do a double take. I mean, Jese and those THIGHS.
He also posted these two photos.
I like the way that Luka and Dzeko mirror each other in this shot.
So we’re into the Quarter Finals! That draw happens on 18 March.
Unfortunately, I will not be covering them. I’ll be stepping away from the blog for a month due to a work trip that has me missing both the matches in the Quarter Finals. Until then, you can bet you’ll have my full attention! The last two league match updates are coming, if for nothing more than pretty gifs. Traveling and doing match posts doesn’t always work but I’ll give you pretties!
Our next match is Sunday against Las Palmas.
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!