Real kick off in style

 

Roma 0 Real Madrid 0

Real Madrid swamped AS Roma 3-0 in their opening Champions League Group match in Rome tonight with two goals from a marauding Guti and another from the ever-faithful Raul.

Roma made the early running but Real soaked up the pressure and then struck to take the lead on 41 minutes. Luis Figo fed Raul, who in turn found Guti lurking in the inside left channel. He swiftly cut in and fired a curling right-foot shot past keeper Francesco Antonioli. It was hard luck on Roma, who had had the bulk of the play until then with Brazil defender Cafu sparking several attacks from the flanks.

The dissenting Ivan Helguera picked up a yellow card in the 21st minute for a small blot on Real's copybook - the 3,000th in the decade-long history of the competition.

Eight minutes after the restart Raul killed the game when he took a smart Guti pass and smacked the ball home left-footed for a record 35th Champions League goal.

Guti then heaped further embarrassment on the Italians with a low drive for the third with 16 minutes remaining.

Cassano set up Emerson with a backheel for a rare Roma second-half chance but he missed the target.

With his colleagues pulling the strings for him Zinedine Zidane was able to afford the luxury of a quiet night in the middle for Real and he gave way shortly after Raul's strike for Santiago Solari, while England winger Steve McManaman made a late entrance for Claude Makelele.