Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. However, it would still be at least lukewarm if Roma could strike back swiftly for Italian football in February and knock out the side that eliminated Napoli from the Champions League. That outcome alone, of course, should be warning enough for Eusebio Di Francesco’s team of the scale of the task it faces.
The more malign might point the finger at the under-strength Manchester City line-up that lost its final meaningless group game to the Ukrainians as the reason Maurizio Sarri's men were sent packing. The truth is, sadly, that they had made their own rather uncomfortable bed by then. An opening round defeat in Kharkiv looked like a painful blow at the time and so it proved to be. A convincing victory back in Naples was not enough to turn things around.
The Giallorossi, of course, are now standing toe-to-toe with Paulo Fonseca’s troops without the need to worry about other group rivals. With the return leg back in the Stadio Olimpico, they will have to fancy themselves to progress. It is not a simple tie - there are few at this stage - but it is one surely within the Capital club's reach.
The two sides have history in this competition, but it makes for mixed reading. Back in 2006, in the group stages, Daniele De Rossi was among the scorers in a 4-0 drubbing dished out in the Olimpico before a single goal defeat in the return match. Fast forward five years, however, and Shakhtar were good enough to triumph both home and away - a warning signal of the progress the club has made.
In that respect, Roma have sounded the right notes of caution and optimism in their reaction to the draw. They offered the time-honoured response of respect and a promise not to underestimate their opponents - particularly in the away leg. In private, though, they must have been plotting a path to the quarter-finals.
For, make no mistake, this is a golden opportunity for this team to confirm the good impression made in the group stages by going deeper in Europe's elite competition. To win a group that included heavyweights like Chelsea and Atletico Madrid sent out a message that they meant business. It would be a shame to spoil that now with elimination after what looks - on paper - a manageable draw.
Nobody, of course, should be taking anything for granted, but with the right degree of focus and determination, this is a tie that the Giallorossi can win and a deserved reward for earlier strong displays. That always comes with the proviso that they come through the winter unscathed and without serious injuries.
There is also that old Italian temptation to prioritise Serie A, should they still be in contention come the spring, but they owe it to themselves not to ease up in the continental clash that lies in store.
Italian sides don't really think of themselves as a unit, we know, but fans are allowed to do so. It would feel sweet to see Roma put paid to the dreams of a side that crushed the aspirations of Dries Mertens and company. They might not let themselves admit it in Naples, but the rest of us are free to do so. Come on, Roma - a spot in the last eight is there for the taking.