AS Roma Burn Chelsea, Claim First Champions League Win

K ShakranSenior Analyst INovember 4, 2008

AS Roma ended their winless run and revived their UEFA Champions League hopes with a well-deserved 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Sunday in Rome.

The London-based side would have secured a berth to the next round if they gained the three points, but the Italians won and advanced to Group A's second place.

Christian Panucci opened the scoring (34') and Mirko Vucinic bagged a second half brace, while skipper John Terry netted the Blues' sole goal.

Both sides were quite cautious in the early minutes of the game, but soon Deco turned the heat on with a long shot, which was saved by Alexander Doni.

Vucinic replied quickly with a volley, but his effort was easily denied by Petr Cech.

French striker Nicloas Anlelka was close to putting Chelsea ahead but he overshot Florent Malouda's deft pass from the left flank.

Ball possession and domination were equally shared between by both teams, but shortly before the interval the hosts took a stranglehold on the game.

Panucci hit the opening goal on 34 minutes when he connected from goalmouth with Cicinho's pinpoint cross, whereas Chelsea defenders were mere bystanders, waiting for the referee to signal an offside.
Roma kept the upper hand.

The visitors exerted more efforts to score the equalizer in the last minutes of the first half but to no avail.

Shortly after restart, Mirko Vucinic doubled the lead when he cannoned a long-range shot into Cech's net.

The Montenegrin scored the third goal single-handedly at the 58 minute mark when he feinted past John Obi Mikel after a long sprint, to go one on one with the keeper and found the back of the net.

John Terry eventually netted the consolation goal for the Blues 15 minutes before the final whistle with persistent follow-up effort.

The Premier League side lost their hopes of salvaging a draw when Deco was sent off on 81 minutes for two bookable offences.