Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Sergio Ramos and coach Zinedine Zidane after scoring against AS Roma on Wednesday.Reuters

Real Madrid worked hard to get past AS Roma in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 at the Stadio Olimpico Wednesday. 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese Rodriguez scored two important away goals against AS Roma on Wednesday. 

The first half was mostly controlled by the home side as the Spanish giants were finding it difficult to maintain ball possession. Real Madrid failed to take one short on target in the first 45 minutes of the game. 

Stephan El Shaarawy could have opened the deadlock just before the half-time whistle, but he failed to go past Raphael Varane who made a brilliant tackle followed by a clearance to deny AS Roma a golden opportunity. 

Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 57th minute when his long range shot deflected Alessandro Florenzi's legs and went into the back of the net. 

Jese summed it up for Real Madrid with a late strike (86th minute). The second goal gave the La Liga giants a comfortable cushion ahead of the second leg of the round of 16 of Champions League. 

AS Roma has a lot to do and worry about before they travel to Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg of this Champions League fixture. They have conceded 16 goals in the group stage of this competition and those are not good stats to look at. 

Ronaldo, who walked out of the pre-match press conference, proved his mettle yet again by scoring an important away goal for his side against a resolute AS Roma on Wednesday. Ronaldo scored his 12th goal of the current season of the Champions League and is sitting comfortable at the top of the list of highest goal-scorers in this tournament. 

This was Real Madrid's first away win against AS Roma since 2004. The two teams will lock horns in the second leg of the round of 16 fixture on March 8. As of now it looks like Real Madrid are the favourites to make it to the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League.  

Watch the highlights and goals here:

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