Real Madrid overcame Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in the Champions League on Tuesday night to finish top of Group G with a game to spare, and the victory enabled manager Santiago Solari to defend his surprising decision to exclude star midfielder Isco from the matchday squad.

Roma will consider themselves hard done by as they frequently opened up the Madrid defence, though in the end they were the masters of their own downfall as they gifted Madrid's second-half opener and conceded a second shortly after as they sought an immediate response.


Speaking at the post-match press conference via La Marca, Real Madrid manager Solari stated: "Matches last 90 minutes and we knew how to mature over the course. We worked hard in the first half, but were more precise in the second."

"It's true that they had a chance to change the match, but the first time we had such a chance we did what we had to do," stated the Argentine, referring to Turkish winger Cengiz Under's astounding first half miss.


Prior to kick-off it was announced that attacking midfielder Isco had not made the Real Madrid squad to face Eusebio Di Francesco's side, while many fans had expected the Spaniard to start. 

Defending his selection Solari explained: "There are specific decisions for specific moments. We are making decisions and that's it, they are almost always sporting except in rare cases, but that doesn't apply here.

"We're here to give everything and who starts and who is on the bench is a fictitious problem that doesn't exist."

Young midfielder Marcos Llorente however was afforded a start despite struggling to make an impact this term, in the absence of first-choice Casemiro who remained sidelined through injury.

"That was also a decision, and we're here to make those decisions," Solari said.

"Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we make mistakes, it's easy to see things after the game. I am very happy with Llorente's performance, he's very disciplined and he worked very hard. We're all happy for him."