Roma were humiliated 7-1 on home turf by Bayern Munich, but remain second in their Champions League group.
It was completely sold out with 70,000 people at the Stadio Olimpico (a new record) and it was a head-to-head for top spot in Group E. As Manchester City threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at CSKA Moscow earlier this evening, Roma remain second with a two-point advantage.
Douglas Maicon pulled out with a knee injury, making way for Vasilis Torosidis, while Leandro Castan, Seydou Keita and Kevin Strootman were sidelined. Bayern started ex-Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, but missed Holger Badstuber, Javi Martinez, Pepe Reina, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Tom Starke and Thiago Alcantara. Bernat surprisingly was picked ahead of Rafinha.
It took just nine minutes for the Germans to find a way through, as Arjen Robben gathered from a corner, cut in on his left foot and curled a magnificent finish into the far top corner.
Roma fought right back, as Manuel Neuer had his gloves stung by Gervinho, then Morgan De Sanctis parried from Mario Gotze with his legs.
Bayern doubled their lead with another well-worked move, as Thomas Muller set up Gotze for a daisy-cutter from the edge of the box that wrong-footed De Sanctis. That was the World Cup hero’s sixth goal in the last five games for Bayern Munich.
Roma lost confidence and conceded a third moments later, Juan Bernat’s cross finding Robert Lewandowski unmarked to nod in from six yards.
Ashley Cole allowed a simple pass to find Robben down the right and De Sanctis got his hands to the shot, but couldn’t keep it out for a fourth by the half-hour mark.
Kostas Manolas went sliding into a block and was penalised for a handling offence. Muller stepped up and converted to make it 5-0.
David Alaba blocked Gervinho’s shot for a corner, then Daniele De Rossi saw his effort charged down.
It was not a new experience, as Rudi Garcia’s Lille were beaten 6-1 by Bayern, while Roma famously lost 7-1 in the Champions League to Manchester United. The atmosphere was also not unlike the World Cup semi-final, when Germany destroyed hosts Brazil 7-1.
Inevitably, Garcia had to make changes, introducing Alessandro Florenzi and Jose Holebas for Totti and Cole. Radja Nainggolan blasted over the bar, but Gervinho had a great chance when springing the offside trap only to smack his shot against the upright. The move continued and Neuer beat away a Florenzi strike one-on-one.
The Giallorossi did not give up, but Neuer managed an incredible save on Gervinho’s volley from point-blank range. Florenzi was also denied by the goalkeeper and Juan Iturbe curled over the bar.
Roma were pushing and got the goal they deserved for this second half performance, as Nainggolan crossed for Gervinho’s header at the near post. To show the extent of the Giallorossi’s task, that was the first goal Bayern had conceded in 814 minutes of competitive football (over 13 hours).
Gervinho could’ve had a second, but was incredibly flagged offside when inside his own half – which is impossible.
Franck Ribery restored Bayern’s five-goal cushion with a delightful lob as De Sanctis was caught in no man’s land.
De Sanctis then spilled a powerful Rafinha shot and Xherdan Shaqiri was alert to pounce on the rebound, netting from a very tight angle just moments after coming off the bench. Ribery threatened an eighth, hitting the side-netting.
The only other time Roma had conceded seven goals on home turf was 7-0 against Il Grande Torino in the 1940s. This season they had let in just one goal at the Olimpico, winning all five competitive games.
Roma 1-7 Bayern Munich
Scorers: Robben 9, 30 (B), Gotze 23 (B), Lewandowski 25 (B), Muller pen 36 (B), Gervinho 66 (R), Ribery 78 (B), Shaqiri 80 (B)
Roma: De Sanctis; Torosidis, Manolas, Yanga Mbiwa, Cole (Holebas 46); Pjanic (Ljajic 79), De Rossi, Nainggolan; Gervinho, Totti (Florenzi 46), Iturbe
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Benatia, Bernat; Alaba, Xabi Alonso; Muller (Rafinha 60), Gotze (Shaqiri 79); Robben; Lewandoski (Ribery 67)
Ref: Eriksson (SWE)
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