Džeko strike edges Roma past Shakhtar Donetsk
A composed 52nd-minute finish from Edin Džeko was enough to claim victory for Roma at home to Shakhtar Donetsk and send the Italian side through after the tie finished 2-2 on aggregate.
Chances were at a premium in the opening 45 minutes despite plenty of attacking intent from both sides, with Facundo Ferreyra slicing wide the clearest opening after dispossessing Roma’s Federico Fazio.
The decisive moment came early in the second half when Kevin Strootman’s through ball caught the Shakhtar defence high up the pitch and Džeko burst through before calmly sliding his finish through the legs of Andriy Pyatov.
The visitors’ hopes of snatching the equaliser they needed to progress were hampered when Ivan Ordets was sent off for a 79th-minute professional foul on Džeko. The hosts then held firm to reach the last eight for the first time in ten years, with Shakhtar failing to register a shot on target in the entire match.
Key player: Edin Džeko (Roma)
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Džeko was in the shadows for much of this game, but timed his emergence to perfection to slot in a crucial goal with the deftest of touches. It is not the first time the Bosnian has made the difference for Roma this season, with his goals at Chelsea arguably the ones which gave the Giallorossi the belief they could qualify from their group. This goal will give them even more confidence as they head into the last eight.
Reporter talking points
Ben Gladwell, Roma: For the first time in a decade, Roma reach the quarter-finals of this competition, but they had to work extremely hard to get there. Shakhtar’s game plan appeared to be working as they frustrated their hosts, but one incisive move was enough for the Serie A side to snatch it. Shakhtar were more than a match, though, and can leave the #UCL with their heads held high, as Roma look forward to Friday’s draw.
Evgeni Polyakov, Shakhtar: Shakhtar played the perfect first half and I can’t explain what happened to them after the break. A momentary loss of concentration ensured the Pitmen conceded a goal that knocked them out, with Ordets’ red card not helping their cause. However, it was a great campaign for the Ukrainian champions and many of you will be looking forward to seeing them in the UEFA Champions League again next season.
- Roma still to concede a home goal in this season’s #UCL
- Džeko equals personal best haul of four goals in this season’s #UCL
- Džeko scores first #UCL goal at home since 4 November 2015
- Roma progress in Europe after first-leg away defeat for first time since 2003/04.
- Džeko’s strike was his first ever in the #UCL knockout rounds