Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid beat Roma on Tuesday to ensure they will go through top of their Champions League group despite a chaotic start to the season.
Bale scored one and then provided the cross that led to another as Lucas Vazquez wrapped up a clinical 2-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma squandered several chances in the first half, the best of them falling to Cengiz Under, who was guilty of a shocking miss from six yards, with the goal gaping.
Here, though, we analyse the performance of Roma’s other precocious young star Justin Kluivert.
Stephan El Shaarawy had softened up Dani Carvajal with a series of touch-and-go runs on Roma’s left, but when he went off injured in the 22nd minute, Kluivert was unable to land a killer blow when introduced.
The young Dutchman is just as direct, yet Roma curiously opted for long diagonals over the top and the passes were often awkwardly caught between being over or under hit.
With El Shaarawy, his starting position was much deeper and the midfield found him earlier, allowing the Italian to run at Carvajal. When Kluivert entered, they went longer and his influence suffered as a result.
He did manage one glimpse of what he can offer with a neat shift and strike in the second half, but his effort was comfortably smothered by Thibaut Courtois. That was actually his second effort on goal, he had an opportunity soon after rising from the bench, only to blaze over when a loose ball arrived at his feet inside the box.
From an attacking sense, there’s not much to write home about, although he may lament Patrik Schick for not anticipating his clever pass across the face of goal after bursting into the box. Defensively, the teenager can be commended because he was diligent and hard working in that regard, filling in for the enterprising Aleksandar Kolarov whenever the full-back ventured forward.
This, though, was not the best game to dissect the true potential of Kluivert.
Work rate – It’s easy to be frustrated on a night when the delivery isn’t quite what’s required but credit to Kluivert for remaining disciplined on both sides of the ball. He continued to try and make intelligent runs in behind and never shied away from his defensive responsibility either.
Shot accuracy – The 19-year-old had two attempts at goal he really should have done better with. The first was immediately after being introduced so perhaps he was caught cold, the second was following the break. On both occasions he had space and his accuracy let him down.
Failed to really make any kind of discernible impression and that after El Shaarawy had looked like he could create real problems for the visitors.
Kluivert is still very young, though, and being exposed to quality duels with the likes of Carvajal will help his development massively.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com
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