Roma 1 - Real Madrid 2
Zebina, Samuel, Zago; Cafu (Balbo 80'), Assunçao (Cassano 62'), Emerson,
Candela; Totti; Montella (Lima 46'), Batistuta. 3-4-1-2.
The biggest game on the European calendar this week was overshadowed by the tragic events in the United States during the day. With players and fans alike horrified by the evil and unprovoked attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, nobody felt much like playing or watching football, but with UEFA slow in making up their minds, the programme went on. Real Madrid ran out winners with a competent performance that should kick-start their season, and having already secured the Spanish supercup, they appear to back on track despite their disappointing performance at the weekend.
Del Bosque surprised everyone including McManaman in the starting line up after practising with Savio and Solari, and with Zidane sitting out the last match of a suspension he picked up before joining Madrid and Morientes injured, the formation was very similar to the one which won the league last season. Raúl and Guti should both have scored from easy chances early in this game before an inspirational Luis Figo finally gave Madrid the lead they deserved from a free kick. The Portuguese winger then set up Guti to head the second with just over an hour gone.
Roma came back with a penalty from Totti after Karanka brought down Zebina, and although Balbo did hit the bar shortly afterwards, Raúl could have made it three near the end when Pelizzoli pushed his shot against the foot of the upright. In injury time Casillas saved from Batistuta to ensure Madrid's first win in Italy for almost 40 years.