Dzeko sends Roma back into Champions League quarter-final

A lone goal from Edin Dzeko fired Roma into the Champions League quarter-final as it helped them to an away goals win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Following a 2-1 defeat in Ukraine, the Bosnian’s goal brought the Giallorosi a 1-0 win in the Eternal City as they moved into the last eight for only the third time and the first time since the 2007/08 season.

Knowing they had to score to progress, the Lupi started the contest on the front foot, testing Shakhtar’s worryingly high defensive line on several occasions but all they had to show for it was a tame Dzeko shot inside 60 seconds.

Facundo Ferreyra and Taison looked a worry on the break and on the half hour mark, the former capitalised on a Federico Fazio error to run through on goal but sliced wide when faced with Alisson.

That was as good as it got for either side in a first 45 minutes in which both sides committed to attack yet were unable to create a great deal in terms of clear cut chances.

It took just six minutes of the second half to bring one of those openings though and it fell to the perfect man as Roma finally punished Shakhtar’s high defensive line.

A clever Kevin Strootman ball in behind was pounced upon by Edzko who raced in and kept a calm head to poke the ball into the far corner of the net and put his side back in command of the tie.

Diego Perotti then curled into Andriy Pyatov’s welcoming arms as Roma went for the jugular and shortly after the hour mark, Dzeko curled a delicious effort inches wide after being teed up by Radja Nainggolan.

The Serie A side’s task was made much easier in the closing stages as the troublesome Dzeko caused yet more issues for the visiting defence and Ivan Ordets was left with no option but to drag him down and accept his red card for doing so.

That led to some ugly scenes moments later as players from both sides clashed as tempers flared but Roma soon regained their composure to see things out and book their place in the competition’s quarter-final for the first time in a decade.

Forza Italian Football

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