ROME, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Real Madrid secured first place in Champions League Group G with a 2-0 win at AS Roma on Tuesday but the Italians will join the European champions in the knockout stage.
Viktoria Plzen’s 2-1 victory at CSKA Moscow in the early kick-off meant Real and Roma were assured of qualifying for the last 16 before a ball had been kicked at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Spaniards came out on top of the shootout for top spot thanks to second-half goals from Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez.
Roma created the best first-half openings, with the unmarked Cengiz Under shooting over from close range before the break, but Real led within two minutes of the restart when Bale pounced on Federico Fazio’s poor header and finished into the corner.
Santiago Solari’s visitors had the clinical edge the hosts were missing as they doubled the advantage before the hour when Vazquez tapped in a Karim Benzema knock-down to end the Rome club’s eight-match unbeaten home run in the Champions League.
The result leaves Madrid on 12 points with Roma on nine and Plzen and CSKA level on four. Real cannot be caught because of their better head-to-head record over the Rome club. (Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, Editing by Ken Ferris)