2017-18 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Pedro Henrique (28')
  • Kostas Manolas (7')
  • Edin Dzeko (15')

Roma strike twice early to win away to Qarabag

Roma improved their poor away record in the Champions League with a 2-1 victory at Qarabag on Wednesday.

Kostas Manolas and Edin Dzeko gave Roma a comfortable 2-0 lead inside the opening quarter of an hour, but Pedro Henrique reduced the deficit in the 28th minute with the first-ever goal in the Champions League for an Azerbaijani side.

Though Roma had only won one of their past 13 matches on their travels in the competition, beating Basel in 2009, they were hopeful of ending that run against Qarabag, who had been humiliated 6-0 at Chelsea in the opening round.

Qarabag duly gifted the visitors a seventh minute lead when goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic poorly punched a corner straight at Lorenzo Pellegrini, who volleyed it in for Manolas' diving header.

Roma doubled their advantage eight minutes later with a well-worked move that ended with Stephan El Shaarawy flicking a cross into the area. Dzeko chested the ball down before lifting it above Sehic -- with his shot clipping the underside of the bar on its way in.

It was Dzeko's sixth goal in his past four matches.

However, Roma paid the price for their complacency when Maxime Gonalons was caught in possession by Dino Ndlovu who sent in a through ball for Henrique to blast into the back of the net.

Qarabag dominated possession in the second half but never really threatened, although Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco brought on experienced midfielder Daniele De Rossi in an attempt to gain more control of the match.

The home side almost snatched an equaliser in the final minute but Ndlovu headed just past the left post and Roma held on for their first win after their opening draw against Atletico Madrid.