Roma vs CSKA Moscow. UEFA Champions League Group E.
Wednesday 17 September 2014 22:42, UK
Roma opened their Champions League Group E campaign in style with a 5-1 mauling of Russian side CSKA Moscow at the Stadio Olimpico.
Gervinho set up Juan Manuel Iturbe's opener and then scored twice himself in the first half, sandwiching a goal from Maicon after the Brazilian full-back overcame an injury scare in the warm-up.
Sergey Ignashevich's own goal extended the margin further and Ahmed Musa's consolation was of no consequence.
Maicon required treatment before kick-off but Roma's fears proved unfounded and he took his scheduled place in the line-up.
Roma's Radja Nainggolan and CSKA's in-form Bebras Natcho had shots blocked in the early exchanges, but it took just six minutes for the hosts to break through, Gervinho's run and pass allowing Iturbe to slot home.
And it was 2-0 in the 10th minute as Iturbe returned the favour for Gervinho, who did well to get the ball out of his feet before beating keeper Igor Akinfeev.
Seydou Doumbia wasted the chance to pull a goal back when he went past Maicon but lost his footing as he bore down on keeper Morgan De Sanctis, and instead it was the Brazilian full-back who netted the game's third goal.
A run into the right side of the penalty area looked as though it would end with a repeat of Maicon's memorable World Cup 2010 strike against North Korea, but on this occasion the aesthetic effect was spoiled by Akinfeev haplessly fumbling his cross-shot over the line.
Iturbe was forced off by a thigh injury, replaced by Alessandro Florenzi, but it did not derail Roma and they extended their lead still further five minutes later through Gervinho's second.
The Ivory Coast international ran on to Francesco Totti's deft pass and cut back onto his left foot before finding the far corner of the net.
Akinfeev made a good save from Miralem Pjanic but the 4-0 half-time scoreline saw Roma already having matched their biggest Champions League win - and they were in no mood to settle for that.
They even had a little-needed helping hand for their fifth as Vassilis Torosidis slung in a cross from the left, aiming for European debutant Florenzi, and though defender Ignashevich beat him to it he could do nothing more than divert it past Akinfeev.
Doumbia and Roman Eremenko offered an overdue goal threat for CSKA but they could have fallen even further behind had Pjanic not been denied again by Akinfeev after a one-two with Florenzi.
Doumbia met Natcho's corner well but was denied by the crossbar, before Gervinho was given a deserved rest as Adem Ljajic took his place.
Roma had by now taken their foot off the gas and their visitors finally got themselves on the scoresheet when Nigeria winger Musa ran on to Doumbia's pass, benefited from a favourable ricochet and, off balance, shovelled a shot past De Sanctis.
It was the first goal conceded by Roma this season but did little to spoil a resoundingly successful start to their European adventure.