Gareth Bale made sure Real Madrid will finish top of Group G with a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over Roma.
Madrid should have trailed late in the first half but Roma’s Cengiz Under was guilty of one of the worst misses in Champions League history.
Roma defender Federico Fazio then gifted Bale the chance to get the first after the restart and when Lucas Vazquez got the second their Italian job was done with time to spare.
Antonio Conte was in the crowd at the Stadio Olimpico to watch the game and both Madrid and Roma looked like teams that could do with his services in an awful first half.
Madrid had an early let-off when Lucas handled on the edge of the area but despite Alexsandar Kolarov’s protests the referee waved play on.
Santiago Solari’s team misplaced passes going forward and were almost caught out on the break but Dani Carvajal raced back to get in front of Stephan El Shaarawy and head clear.
Bale then crossed for Lucas and he played in Modric whose shot was deflected off Karim Benzema before Robin Olsen blocked it.
Typical of Madrid’s first half was Marcelo misplacing a pass to Bale and then charging forward to try to make amends for his error. He was second to the ball and Roma had a clear run in behind him. Sergio Ramos cut across and put the ball out for a corner but there flowed two or three minutes of frantic pressure all from Marcelo’s error. Thibaut Courtois blocked the resulting shot and Kolarov’s shaved the post with the rebound.
On 45 minutes came Under’s horror moment. Carvajal gave the ball way on his own byline and when Justin Kluivert crossed Under was alone with the goal at his mercy. It was a case of up and Under as he skied the chance and it summed up the first 45 minutes.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
ROMA (4-2-3-1): Olsen; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; N’Zonzi (Coric 64′), Cristante; Cengiz, Zaniolo (Karsdorp 69′), El Shaaraway (Kluivert 22′); Schick
SUBS NOT USED: Jesus, Marcano, Santon, Mirante
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric (Valverde 81′), Llorente; Lucas, Benzema (Mariano 77′), Bale (Asensio 84′)
SUBS NOT USED: Casilla, Ceballos, Vinicius, Sanchez
GOALS: Bale 47, Lucas 59
BOOKED: Modric, Varane
REFEREE: Clement Turpin (France)
VENUE: Stadio Olimpico.