Chelsea 3-3 Roma: Blues Blow 2-0 Lead But Battle Back for a Crucial Draw

Oct 18, 2017 Posted Under: News

?Chelsea went into this home tie against Roma knowing that a win would give them breathing room of five points at the top, as Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 with Azerbaijani side Qaraba?.

Alvaro Morata returned to Antonio Conte’s side since being helped off early in the first half in the league defeat to Manchester City.

N’Golo Kante’s injury forced Conte to delve back into the archives, employing David Luiz in midfield. 

It was looking like a typical Champions League away performance for Chelsea, despite them being the home team. They sat and soaked the pressure, before hitting Roma with waves of counterattacks – a proven tactic that reaped the rewards of being up 2-0.

Chelsea FC v AS Roma - UEFA Champions League

Chelsea’s opening goal came from one of these moments, as they hounded Radja Naingolan into a mistake, kick starting a counter-attack. David Luiz’s threaded pass into Morata was intercepted – but not dealt with. The clearance from Roma defender Juan Jesus was an inadvertently passed back for Luiz to curl a glorious shot passed Allison.

Roma’s Diego Perotti looked the likely candidate to break from the norm, taking matters in his own hands. He often drifted from his left side with the ball, causing César Azpilicueta – as well as other Chelsea – players to commit.

Chelsea FC v AS Roma - UEFA Champions League

Chelsea continued to feast on Roma’s mistakes, and capitalised with a second goal. Hazard dispossessed Bruno Peres, and along with Morata, embarked on another two-man counterattack. Morata’s shot was laced with fortune, as it deflected into the path Hazard’s, who coolly slotted in Chelsea’s second.

Roma replied back instantly with Aleksandar Kolarov’s solo effort. The Serbian knocked the ball past Azpilecueta and unleashed a shot that deflected over the head of Thibaut 

Courtois.

After the break, Conte chose to bring on Pedro, replacing Luiz, in an attempt to stifle Roma’s comfortable possession. This plan backfired, as spaces behind Chelsea’s back line began to form. 

Federico Fazio lofted a pass from deep over the shoulder of Edin Džeko, who veered from his man onto the drop of the exquisite pass, volleying the ball over Courtois for the equaliser.

Roma, buoyed by confidence, looked most likely to get the next goal, which they did. The two ex-Manchester City players Kolarov and Džeko combined for Roma’s third goal. Kolarov whipped in a dangerous free-kick from the left, which found Džeko near post, who headed past Courtois for his second of the night. 

FBL-EUR-C1-CHELSEA-ROMA

This thrilling encounter looked to be moving to another gear, as Chelsea showed character to get an equaliser of their own. Pedro provided a cross on the edge of the area in which Hazard deftly navigated a header past Allison. That was Hazard’s second of the night. 

Chelsea finished the stronger of the two sides, and despite an enthralling encounter, both teams will lament that they did not capitalise on Atletico Madrid’s 0-0 draw. 

Chelsea still lead Group C by two points, as the group stage reaches its halfway mark.


Lineups

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill (c), David Luiz, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso, Hazard, Morata.

Roma: Alisson, Peres, Fazio, Jesus, Kolarov, Nainggolan, Gonalons, Strootman, Gerson, Dzeko, Perotti.

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