It was a six-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge, as Edin Dzeko’s brace – including a sensational volley – saw Roma scare Chelsea for a 3-3 draw.
The Giallorossi were still unbeaten in Europe with four points from two games, but visited Stamford Bridge without Kostas Manolas, Gregoire Defrel, Patrik Schick or Emerson Palmieri, though Kevin Strootman returned. Maxime Gonalons and Gerson were given surprise starts. It was a reunion with Antonio Rudiger, who left the Olimpico over the summer, along with Davide Zappacosta, Alvaro Morata and Coach Antonio Conte. N’Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses missed out.
Chelsea had a perfect record so far in the Champions League, but lost two on the bounce in England, including to bottom club Crystal Palace on Saturday. These sides had met before in the 2008-09 group stage, earning a home win each.
The visitors had a bright start, Diego Perotti cutting inside to fire just over the bar, but David Luiz broke the deadlock when Juan Jesus charged down his first attempt meekly and the Brazilian unleashed a rocket from well outside the box.
Roma continued to dominate possession and Strootman fired over, while Juan Jesus lost possession and Eden Hazard’s angled drive was off target.
Thibaut Courtois had to smother a Perotti strike and stuck out a foot to deny Nainggolan from close range. Perotti should’ve done better when finishing off a move that included Edin Dzeko’s nutmeg on Morata.
They were made to pay for those wasted chances, as Chelsea went on the counter again and doubled their lead. Morata’s shot took a deflection off Federico Fazio, turning into an assist for Hazard’s half-volley from seven yards.
However, Roma got their deserved goal moments later, Aleksandar Kolarov hitting an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
It was almost 2-2 then, as Perotti’s cross was just over Dzeko’s head and Marcos Alonso desperately prevented Gerson tapping in at the back post.
The second half began in much the same way, as Nainggolan’s effort from a corner was charged down in the box and Strootman’s effort deflected wide.
Gerson also blasted over and Kolarov’s pull-back was fingertipped just behind Dzeko, who only had to tap it in from a couple of yards.
Roma got their absolutely deserved equaliser in some sensational style, as Fazio’s long ball over the top found Dzeko for an extraordinary left-foot volley from eight yards under the bar. It was similar to one Francesco Totti scored against Sampdoria.
The turnaround was completed, as Kolarov whipped in a set play and Dzeko was allowed a free header from close range.
However, Hazard was left totally unmarked for a glancing header on Pedro’s cross from the right, which flew into the far bottom corner.
Dzeko nearly had a hat-trick, his header just wide of the near post on a Bruno Peres cross, but the hosts were also pushing to the end and Gary Cahill nodded over in stoppages.
Chelsea 3-3 Roma
David Luiz 11 (C), E Hazard 37, 75 (C), Kolarov 40 (R), Dzeko 64, 70 (R)
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta (Rudiger 76), Fabregas, David Luiz (Pedro 57), Bakayoko, Alonso; Hazard (Willian 80), Morata
Roma: Alisson; Bruno Peres, Juan Jesus, Fazio, Kolarov; Gonalons, Strootman (Florenzi 83), Nainggolan; Gerson (Pellegrini 72), Dzeko, Perotti (El Shaarawy 87)
Ref: Skomina (SLO)
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk