CL: Roma push past Shakhtar

Roma are through to the Champions League quarter-finals after Edin Dzeko defeated 10-man Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0, qualifying on away goals.


The Giallorossi had taken the lead in Ukraine through Cengiz Under before losing the first leg 2-1, so a victory was necessary – with an eye on away goals – to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. Gregoire Defrel was injured, while the visitors missed Maksym Malyschev and Serhiy Kryvstov.


These sides had met five times before and Shakhtar won four of them, losing only 4-0 here in 2006. Paulo Fonseca’s side finished ahead of Napoli in their Champions League group this season, but had lost five of their last six away games in the competition.


Roma hadn’t conceded in their three home ties this term, but risked an own goal when Alessandro Florenzi nodded a free kick just wide of the far post.


Although the Giallorossi needed the win, it was Shakhtar who kept possession in the early stages and earned a series of corners. The first chance for the hosts came on 25 minutes, as Aleksandar Kolarov pulled back from the by-line and Andriy Pyatov palmed it off the feet of Edin Dzeko.


Taison blasted over from 20 metres, Kolarov over-hit the cross past Cengiz Under and Facundo Ferreyra was unable to make the most of a Federico Fazio error. 


Shakhtar’s danger on the counter became clear when Radja Nainggolan’s effort from a corner was charged down and the Ukrainians surged up the other end, but Florenzi made a clean tackle on Taison.


Diego Perotti fired wide and Fazio needed a fine challenge to stop Ferreyra going clear. 


The deadlock was finally broken on 52 minutes, as Dzeko sprung the offside trap on a Kevin Strootman through ball, Pyatov completely mistimed his rush off the line and the Bosnian prodded his finish to roll slowly into an empty net. As things stood, Roma would qualify on away goals, 2-2 on aggregate. That was also the first goal Dzeko has ever scored in the Champions League knockout stages.


Nainggolan set up a good chance for Dzeko’s second, the Bosnian swinging the boot to go just wide of the far post. He also ran on to a Perotti slide-rule pass, but Ivan Ordets did just enough to narrow the angle.


Ordets was caught out by Dzeko, though, a clumsy tackle pulling back the striker as he was going clear on goal and received a straight red card. Moments later, Shakhtar lost the plot, shoving a ball boy over the advertising boards, sparking a brawl with furious Roma players.


Kolarov and Alan Patrick fired free kicks into the wall, but ultimately Alisson didn’t have a save to make at the Olimpico and kept his fourth consecutive Champions League home clean sheet.


Roma 1-0 Shakhtar (2-2 agg)


Dzeko 52 (R)


Roma: Alisson; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Nainggolan, De Rossi, Strootman; Under (Gerson 65), Dzeko (El Shaarawy 89), Perotti


Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov; Butko, Ordets, Rakitsky, Ismaily; Fred, Stepanenko (Patrick 73); Marlos (Dentinho 82), Taison, Bernard; Facundo Ferreyra


Ref: Mallenco (ESP)


Sent off: Ordets 79 (S)

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