HT: De Rossi joy and pain in Porto

Daniele De Rossi converted a penalty and then limped off with a muscular problem, as Roma are 1-1 away to Porto at half-time, leading 3-2 on aggregate.

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The Giallorossi won the first leg 2-1, but the away goal left passage to the Champions League quarter-finals in the balance. Moussa Marega and Jesus Corona returned after missing the first leg, but Porto switched to a 4-4-2 formation with Tiquinho Soares in attack. Eusebio Di Francesco completely revamped after a 3-0 Derby della Capitale defeat to Lazio, as Federico Fazio was out injured, but he used a 3-4-3 with Ivan Marcano facing his former teammates.

Roma’s last Champions League away clean sheet was precisely 12 years ago, March 6 2007 with a 2-0 victory at Olympique Lyonnais, conceding 74 goals in the next 31 games, including the preliminary rounds.

Jesus Corona’s volley flew over the bar and a last-ditch Felipe tackle prevented Edin Dzeko going clear on goal. Iker Casillas rushed out to intercept Nicolò Zaniolo one-on-one, while Tiquinho Soares saw his shot charged down and the Alex Telles follow-up hit the side-netting.

A couple of in-swinging Aleksandar Kolarov set plays caused problems, and another Jesus Corona curler didn’t dip enough.

The deadlock was broken when Marega caught Kostas Manolas in possession and surged down the left, rolling across for Tiquinho Soares to tap in from a couple of yards. He was just behind the line of the ball and therefore onside.

With this result, Porto would go through on the away goals rule, 2-2 on aggregate. Roma fought back, Dzeko’s volley at the back post on a corner deflected off target.

Daniele De Rossi won back the ball to send Diego Perotti into the box, where the Argentine was clumsily brought down by Militao. De Rossi stepped up and showed such calm to beat Casillas from the spot, stuttering his run-up to send his fellow veteran the wrong way. It was a precious away goal and put the Giallorossi back in charge of the tie.

Robin Olsen flew to palm away a Hector Herrera strike from the edge of the box, but there was bad news on the stroke of half-time when De Rossi limped off with a calf problem and was replaced by Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Porto 1-1 Roma (Half-Time, 2-3 agg)

Soares 26 (P), De Rossi pen 36 (R)

Porto: Casillas; Militao, Felipe, Pepe, Telles; Otavio, Danilo Pereira, Herrera, Jesus Corona; Marega, Soares

Roma: Olsen; Juan Jesus, Manolas, Marcano; Karsdorp, Nzonzi, De Rossi (Pellegrini 45+4), Kolarov; Zaniolo, Dzeko, Perotti

Ref: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)

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