Roma 3-0 Chelsea: Stephan El Shaarawy sinks slack Blues
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 01/11/17 8:17am
Chelsea suffered a Champions League setback as a slack performance led to a 3-0 defeat to Roma on Tuesday.
Stephan El Shaarawy put the hosts ahead with a brilliant strike after just 39 seconds - the fastest goal in the Champions League this season.
El Shaarawy added a second before half-time after an error from former Roma defender Antonio Rudiger, and the home side took advantage of another mistake to score a third in the 63rd minute through Diego Perotti.
The win sees Roma move to the top of the group, one point ahead of Chelsea, who, on a night when they were well below their best, were grateful to see Qarabag hold Atletico Madrid to a 1-1 draw in Spain.
That result means Chelsea are still well positioned to finish in the top two in Group C, and was the only positive as the Blues suffered their joint-biggest defeat under Antonio Conte.
Roma: Alisson (6), Juan (6), Kolarov (7), Fazio (6), Florenzi (6), Nainggolan (7), Strootman (7), De Rossi (7), Perotti (7), Dzeko (6), El Shaarawy (8)
Subs: Manolas (5), Pellegrini (5), Gerson (5)
Chelsea: Courtois (5), Rudiger (4), Luiz (4), Cahill (4), Azpilicueta (5), Bakayoko (4), Fabregas (4), Alonso (5), Pedro (5), Morata (4), Hazard (5)
Subs: Willian (5), Drinkwater (5), Batshuayi (5)
Man of the match: Stephan El Shaarawy
Roma made a dream start in the Italian capital as El Shaarawy fired in a superb first-time effort from the edge of the box with just 39 seconds on the clock.
Chelsea looked as though they would soon respond in an open game as Eden Hazard was denied by Alisson and then Alvaro Morata shot over from close range.
But it was Roma who scored next after a poor error from Rudiger, letting a long ball run past him for El Shaarawy to latch onto and flick past Thibaut Courtois.
Tiemoue Bakayoko should have reduced the deficit late in the first half but he headed wide from a corner.
Kante was not available to return from injury for Chelsea, while Cahill replaced Zappacosta. Florenzi, De Rossi and El Shaarawy started for Roma.
Willian was introduced in the 56th minute but Chelsea continued to make too many errors and were eventually punished as Cesc Fabregas misplaced a pass and Perotti fired in from 25 yards.
Chelsea showed little urgency in chasing a comeback and were fortunate not to lose by more as Perotti blazed over after some terrible defending and then Kostas Manolas saw a point-blank header saved by Courtois.
- This is the first defeat that an English club has suffered in the Champions League this season - the other 16 games involving English clubs have seen them win 12 and draw four.
- Chelsea are now winless in their last six away games against Italian clubs in the Champions League (W0 D1 L5).
- This was only the third time that Chelsea have lost a Champions League game by a margin of 3+ goals. The previous two were 1-5 at Barcelona in April 2000 and 0-3 at Juventus in November 2012.
- Cesc Fabregas made his 100th Champions League appearance in this match, becoming the fifth youngest to reach this landmark (30y 180d old).
Man of the match - Stephan El Shaarawy
El Shaarawy's first-half double proved to be decisive. The Italy international opened the scoring in style, firing a first-time shot into the corner with the outside of his boot after just 39 seconds.
El Shaarawy continued to look positive on the ball and he took advantage of a lapse in concentration from Rudiger to score the second. Was given a standing ovation when he was replaced in the second half.
Chelsea will look to bounce back when they host Manchester United on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League. The Blues are next in Champions League action when they travel to Qarabag on Wednesday, November 22.