CL: Alisson denies Atletico

Roma clung on in the second half and relied on Alisson’s saves – and the woodwork – to hold Atletico Madrid 0-0.

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The Giallorossi were back in the Champions League, having missed out last year by losing the play-off to Porto, but missed Patrik Schick, Emerson Palmieri and Rick Karsdorp. It was a return to the Olimpico for Diego Simeone, who played for Lazio,

In the opening couple of minutes, Saul Niguez clipped the outside of the upright from the edge of the box with Alisson beaten. Gregoire Defrel also drilled just wide with a snapshot, as did Antoine Griezmann.

The game came alive on the half-hour, as first Aleksandar Kolarov rolled a free kick to the edge of the box for Radja Nainggolan’s scorcher, which Jan Oblak just about blocked on the line as it squirmed under him.

Moments later, Atleti went on the counter and Vietto let it through for Koke, whose finish beat Alisson, but not the Kostas Manolas goal-line clearance.

Edin Dzeko drilled over the bar after a give and go from a tight angle, while Defrel couldn’t turn between three defenders to get his shot away.

Saul Niguez fired straight at Alisson after a Juanfran assist, but the goalkeeper needed to be alert on a dangerous Joaquin Correa angled drive.

Roma were under increasing pressure and introduced Federico Fazio for striker Defrel, moving to three at the back.

Perotti had penalty appeals waved away as he went down while looking for contact just inside the area.

Alisson again had his gloves stung by Correa, as Atleti poured forward seeking the winner and Roma looked increasingly tired. Kolarov ran into Juanfran in the box, but again the referee waved away penalty appeals.

Roma really rode their luck in stoppages, as on a corner Alisson performed another great save on Saul’s header and on the rebound the same player hit the woodwork.

Roma 0-0 Atletico Madrid

Roma: Alisson; Bruno Peres, Manolas, Juan Jesus, Kolarov; Strootman, De Rossi, Nainggolan (Pellegrini 78); Defrel (Fazio 67), Dzeko (EL Shaarawy 89), Perotti

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Filipe Luis; Saul, Gabi (Carrasco 61), Thomas, Koke; Griezmann (Gaitan 78), Vietto (Correa 58)

Ref: Mazic (SRB)