Real Madrid dominated Roma but needed three golazos to open their Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win on Wednesday.
Madrid had no less than 18 attempts on Roma's goal yet had only three goals to show for their efforts, although they were all memorable as Isco scored a free kick, Gareth Bale finished off from Luka Modric's visionary through ball and Mariano Diaz re-announced himself with a sensational curler.
Julen Lopetegui appeared to be rotating his goalkeepers as Keylor Navas replaced Thibaut Courtois between the sticks, while Isco was preferred to Marco Asensio.
Madrid beat Roma in the International Champions Cup last month and knocked them out of the Champions League two years ago, although the Giallorossi did stun Barcelona to reach the semi-finals earlier this year.
Bale had a great chance early on, his control on a Toni Kroos long ball and strike skimming the upright, before Robin Olsen got his gloves to an Isco effort set up by Modric.
Roma’s only threat came on the counterattack, but Steven Nzonzi’s touch wasted a four-on-two and the hosts went on to shower shots at Olsen’s goal, the Swede tipping over Sergio Ramos’ powerful header and then turning Isco’s low drive around the post
It was therefore only a matter of time before Los Blancos broke the deadlock as Isco delightfully curled a free kick into Olsen’s top-right corner.
Roma had a great chance after the restart as Cengiz Under surged forward during a well-worked move, but his powerful strike was acrobatically palmed over by Navas. At the other end, however, Federico Fazio deflected Bale’s close-range effort on to the bar.
Nonetheless, Madrid were able to turn a Navas hand on a low cross into a second goal, when Modric’s magnificent slide-rule pass split the visitors’ defence in two and sent the Welshman clear to place his angled finish across the Giallorossi custodian.
Roma almost pulled one back through Aleksandar Kolarov’s daisy-cutter, which the Costa Rican palmed around the post, but Olsen was soon called back into action, pushing Kroos’ curler away, before sticking out a hand to deny Marco Asensio after his roulette.
Fortunately for Los Merengues, a third goal did arrive – albeit from a Keylor save on Edin Dzeko’s header – as Mariano bent an unstoppable drive into Olsen’s top right.
Real Madrid 3-0 Roma
Isco 43, Bale 58, Mariano 90
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric (Ceballos 85), Casemiro, Kroos; Bale (Mariano 73), Benzema (Asensio 62), Isco
Roma: Olsen; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Zaniolo (Pellegrini 54), Nzonzi (Schick 69), De Rossi; El Shaarawy (Perotti 62), Dzeko, Cengiz
Referee: Brych (GER)