Roma managed to rouse the sleeping Galactico’s of Madrid, relinquishing a two-goal lead much to the disgust of acting coach Ezio Sella.
“We had prepared the game in a certain way, that is on swift counter attacks. Said Sella.
“At first we succeeded and if Real Madrid did not score the goal towards the end of the first half, maybe something would have changed.”
The Giallorossi took the initiative in the Bernabeu with early strikes from young Italians Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Cassano, before Madrid captain Raul had cause to kiss his ring in trade mark celebration for the first time in nine months. The all-time top scorer in the Champions League equalised for the home side before the interval with his deflected shot looping over Pelizzoli.
An early second half penalty form Luis Figo flipped the tie on its head as a swagger returned to Los Merengues.
“The penalty killed us off. I’m not discussing whether it was legitimate or not, surely it was a tough one,” said Sella.
Figo assisted in Raul’s second of the game, the Spaniard sliding in at the near post to convert the cross whilst much maligned Brazilian Roberto Carlos rounded the evening off in style with a trademark swing of his left foot blasting into the top corner.
Mariano Garcia Remon saluted his players on their superb fight-back.
“To beat an Italian team when you are 2-0 down and after they got eight men behind the ball is a very big achievement,” he said.
“What’s more, this is the perfect way to win back the support of the fans. They got behind us when we went 2-0 down and without them we couldn’t have fought back to win the game.”