Edin Dzeko scored two and assisted Cengiz Under to give Roma their seventh consecutive Champions League home win, beating CSKA Moscow 3-0.
The Giallorossi were back in crisis mode after a shock 2-0 home defeat to SPAL, where their Serie A record was totally different to Europe. Indeed they came into this game on the back of six consecutive Champions League home victories and were unbeaten in seven. Aleksandar Kolarov, Justin Kluivert, Diego Perotti, Javier Pastore and Rick Karsdorp missed out, so Davide Santon moved over to left-back. CSKA were surprisingly top of the group with four points after a 2-2 draw with Viktoria Plzen and shock 1-0 victory over Real Madrid. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was suspended, with Kristijan Bistrovic, Abel Hernandez, Konstantin Kuchaev, Makarov, Georgi Schennikov and Viktor Vasin injured.
These teams have met four times before, home and away in the second round of the 1991-92 Cup Winners’ Cup and again in the 2014-15 Champions League group phase.
Robin Olsen had to palm away long-range strikes from Fedor Chalov and Nikola Vlasic early doors, then Lorenzo Pellegrini failed to make the most of a poor clearance, putting his lob over the empty net.
Daniele De Rossi’s header was fingertipped over the bar and Roma took the lead somewhat against the run of play. It was a well-worked move, with give-and-go passes between Pellegrini and Stephan El Shaarawy, then the roll across for Edin Dzeko to tap in.
Dzeko wasted a promising counter and Olsen again had his gloves stung by Vlasic from distance, but Roma were more clinical in front of goal.
Lorenzo Pellegrini surged through the middle and El Shaarawy’s intelligent slide-rule pass allowed Dzeko to spring the offside trap, drilling into the far bottom corner.
Straight after the restart, a ferocious Alessandro Florenzi half-volley flashed just off target, but didn’t have to wait long for the third goal. Dzeko knocked down the Florenzi floated ball over the top and Cengiz Under let it bounce to hit a rocket into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
Kirill Nababkin thought he’d pulled one back, but his goal was ruled offside on the hour mark. It was almost a Dzeko hat-trick, but he nodded wide of the back post from a corner.
El Shaarawy’s curler was fingertipped over the bar in the final minutes, then Kostas Manolas was at full stretch to meet a Florenzi free kick, but Pomazun somehow fingertipped it on to the upright. Florenzi tried again from distance, with Pomazun giving a good account of himself standing in for veteran Akinfeev.
Roma 3-0 CSKA Moscow
Dzeko 30, 43 (R), Under 50 (R)
Roma: Olsen; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Santon; De Rossi (Schick 81), Nzonzi; Under (Kolarov 73), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Cristante 67), El Shaarawy; Dzeko
CSKA Moscow: Pomazun; Mario Fernandes, Chernov (Khosonov 57), Rodrigo Becao, Magnusson, Nababhkin; Oblyakov (Dzagoev 57), Akhmetov, Sigurdsson; Vlasic; Chalov
Ref: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/