Champions League: Real Madrid cruise past Roma to quarterfinal

    Story highlights

    • Ronaldo scores 40th goal of the season overall
    • He also notched his 90th Champions League career goal, a record
    • First time since 1987 that Real beat an Italian club in a knockout stage
    • Real have not let in a goal at home in the CL

    (CNN)Getting past Real Madrid was never going to be easy for AS Roma.

    Down 2-0 going into the second leg of the round of 16 clash at the Bernabeu, the Italians showed signs of life early on but came up well short of making history.
      Instead, Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 40th goal of the season -- and his record 90th goal in the competition overall. It took 64 minutes for Ronaldo to break the deadlock, with James Rodriguez following up three minutes later to lock down a 2-0 win.
      Despite two clear chances from Mohamed Salah and one from Edin Dzeko, Roma could not score, allowing Real Madrid to advance past an Italian club in a European knockout stage for the first time in nine tries -- a statistical outlier now put firmly to rest.

      Real Madrid 2-0 Roma (4-0) ⚽ 64' @Cristiano ⚽ 68' @jamesrodriguez10 #RMUCL #HalaMadrid

      A photo posted by Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) on

      Having lost to Juventus in the semifinals last year -- stopping just short of meeting arch-rivals Barcelona in what would have been a Champions League final for the ages -- Real's last knockout victory against Italian opposition was back in 1987, defeating Napoli in the first round of the European Cup.
      For the first two-thirds of the match, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was perhaps Roma's top player, denying a flurry of chances from Madrid. But the Pole on loan from Arsenal eventually succumbed to Ronaldo's magic -- which came in the form of a breakaway tap-in -- and then let the ball through his legs for Rodriguez's follow-up effort.
      Meanwhile, Real Madrid are yet to concede a goal at home in the Champions League this season.
      Ronaldo has been in top form lately, scoring four goals in 26 minutes in his last game, a 7-1 drubbing over Celta Vigo. With 27 league goals, he's the current leading scorer in La Liga this season.
      Before the match, the Portuguese winger had scored 57% of Real Madrid's goals in the Champions League this season, taking a remarkable 8.1 shots per game on average.
      Roma had also been in top form coming into the match, winning their last seven Serie A games, their best run in the league for two years.
      But their Champions League run was slightly less stellar, having qualified for the last 16 as Group E runners-up behind FC Barcelona, despite winning only one game. Roma, in fact, had not won away from home in the Champions League since a 2010 victory over FC Basel.
      The match marked Zinedine Zidane's first home Champions League fixture as Real's manager. The Frenchman notched a fine record against Roma as a player, with seven wins, five draws and two losses.
      Zidane may have been reminded of his lowest ebb as a player, however, when Roma's legendary striker Francesco Totti marched onto the field in the 74th minute. Now in his 24th season with Roma, the 39-year-old was part of Italy's 2006 World Cup winning side against France -- a match etched in football infamy for Zidane's red card-provoking head butt on Marco Materazzi.

      FA Cup

      In England's FA Cup, two-time defending champions Arsenal avenged their home draw against Hull by winning 4-0 on the road. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud scored two each. The Gunners will face Watford in the quarterfinals at the Emirates on Sunday.
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