Edin Dzeko's frustrations get better of him as Roma can't attack or defend in Madrid

Roma got exactly what they deserved and what everyone expected as Real Madrid swatted them aside 3-0 without ever getting out of second gear, and the Giallorossi reverted to frightened rabbit type in the Champions League after last season's commendable showing.

A delightful Isco free kick seconds before half-time, a bullet Gareth Bale finish near the hour mark and Mariano's stoppage-time golazo were enough for the European champions to get their third straight Champions League title defence off to a winning start, with Roma providing the perfect opposition for a team wanting to ease into a continental campaign. Madrid rattled off 30 shots as the away side failed to get a handle on the Spaniards' other-worldly midfield, too timid to make any tackles and incapable of building play until it was far too late.

If Romanisti were hoping for a break from their side's Serie A woes, then they were sorely mistaken. On this showing, they'll do well to get out of their group.


Looking at how many chances Madrid created, the fact that this didn't end up in the pantheon of Great Roma European Humblings was a plus, as was Robin Olsen showing that he might just be a worthy successor to the much-missed Alisson. The way Roma reacted in the final 20 minutes would have been heartening had it not been clear that Madrid had already shut down for the evening, content in a job well done.


Roma can't defend, and they struggle to create chances. When good counter-attacking opportunities arose, someone was guaranteed to misplace a pass or dawdle on the ball. Edin Dzeko looks isolated and demoralised, while the players that came on from the bench didn't seem ready to actually play. Patrik Schick in particular seems totally lost, nothing like the wild talent we saw at Sampdoria.

Manager rating

4 -- Giving a 19-year-old who has never played a Serie A match his club debut at the Bernabeu is a gamble few managers would make, because it's never likely to pay off. And yet that's what Eusebio Di Francesco did on Wednesday, starting with youngster Nicolo Zaniolo in midfield. It should not surprise anyone that he was steamrolled by Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Robin Olsen, 8 -- Did everything he could against one of the most casual onslaughts you'll ever see.

DF Alessandro Florenzi, 5 -- Looked every inch a player who used to play as a winger. All over the shop.

DF Kostas Manolas, 4 -- The best you can say is that Karim Benzema didn't score.

DF Federico Fazio, 4 -- All at sea as Madrid poured forward, doing little to stop their powering in shot after shot.

DF Aleksandar Kolarov, 4 -- The Serb is clearly in desperate need of a break. Destroyed by Bale and Marco Asensio.

MF Nicolo Zaniolo, 5 -- Nervous in possession and overawed by his opposition, but that's not his fault -- what was he even doing out there in the first place?

MF Steven Nzonzi, 5 -- Looked a Stoke City clogger up against players from a proper football outfit.

MF Daniele De Rossi, 6 -- Gave away the free kick that allowed Isco to open the scoring with a daft foul, but otherwise was one of the few who looked worthy of the stage.

FW Stephan El Shaarawy, 5 -- Charged around like a lively hound, but offered nothing of substance.

FW Edin Dzeko, 4 -- Spent most of the match moping, obviously not happy with his teammates and the lack of service. Had one attempt easily saved.

FW Cengiz Under, 5 -- Got into good positions but wasted them time and again. Had Roma's best opportunity seconds before Bale doubled Madrid's lead.


MF Lorenzo Pellegrini, 6 -- Gave some much-needed grit to a limp team effort.

FW Diego Perotti, 5 -- His substitution for El Shaarawy was barely noticed, so little it changed things.

FW Patrik Schick, 4 -- Came onto the pitch as though he was being given a run out with the reserves. Awful.