Dashed dreams of La Decima: Real Madrid's 11 years of hurt in Europe
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2007/08 (Round of 16 vs Roma)
Score: Roma 2-1 Real Madrid; Real Madrid 1-2 Roma (Roma win 4-2 on aggregate)
La Liga position: 1st
Any other business? This time, Real finished 18 points clear of Barca – who had to settle for third behind Villarreal
The last 16 proved a hurdle too far for Real at the fourth consecutive time of asking. Bernd Schuster was behind the wheel at this stage, and had a remodelled squad to play with – the likes of Arjen Robben, Pepe and Wesley Sneijder all having hopped aboard. They’d scored seven against Valladolid nine days before travelling to Rome, where Raul deflected in an early Guti shot to leave Real looking good to slay their ghosts. David Pizarro levelled things up before, on 58 minutes, Francesco Totti played in Brazilian winger Mancini who rounded Casillas to hand Roma the advantage.
That lead was extended with just 17 minutes to play of a hithero goalless second leg at the Bernabeu. Pepe had just been sent off when Rodrigo Taddei headed Roma in front, but Raul responded quickly to leave the 10 men one goal away from extra-time. It didn’t materialise: Mirko Vucinic scored a header of his own in added time to send Luciano Spalletti’s side through and leave Real pondering yet another year in which a good position had been put to waste.