Eden Hazard scored his first two goals of the season, but Chelsea were still held to a 3-3 draw by Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Chelsea appeared to be cruising towards a comfortable win after strikes from David Luiz and Hazard, only for Aleksandar Kolarov to pull a goal back for Roma five minutes before half-time.
The visitors continued their fightback in the second period as two Edin Dzeko efforts – the second reminiscent of Marco van Basten’s famous volley for the Netherlands at Euro 88 – put them in front.
However, Hazard was on hand to rescue a point for the hosts after heading in Pedro’s cross 15 minutes from a time, a draw that keeps Chelsea top of Group C at the halfway stage.
Chelsea: Courtois (7), Cahill (6), Christensen (5), Azpilicueta (7), Alonso (6), Fabregas (6), Bakayoko (6), Zappacosta (6), Luiz (7), Morata (6), Hazard (8)
Subs: Rudiger (7), Willian (6), Pedro (7)
Roma: Alisson (6), Juan (6), Kolarov (8), Fazio (8), Peres (6), Nainggolan (7), Strootman (8), Gonalons (6), Perotti (9), Dzeko (8), Gerson (7)
Subs: Pellegrini (6), Florenzi (6), El Shaarawy (6)
Man of the match: Diego Perotti
The home team took an 11th-minute lead when Luiz, playing in midfield, strode forward and unleashed a long-range effort that rebounded back to him off a Roma defender.
The Brazilian, though, made no mistake with his second effort, beating Alisson with a delightful curler from 25 yards out.
However, Roma were causing their opponents any number of problems on the break, and Radja Nainggolan really should have equalised just past the half-hour mark, only to shoot too close to Thibaut Courtois when well placed.
The visitors were then made to pay for that miss when Chelsea doubled their lead eight minutes before the break, but again their goal was slightly fortunate.
Hazard picked up possession just inside Roma’s half, before surging forward and playing a one-two with Alvaro Morata on the edge of the area. The striker then attempted a shot on goal that was deflected straight into Hazard’s path, with the Belgian making no mistake for his first goal since the final day of last season.
That two-goal lead was short-lived, though, with Roma halving the deficit less than two minutes later when Kolarov’s fierce drive from the left edge of the area took a slight deflection off Andreas Christensen, with the ball looping in over a helpless Courtois.
Chelsea made three changes from the loss to Crystal Palace, with Alvaro Morata back after a hamstring injury, while Davide Zappacosta replaced the Victor Moses and Andreas Christensen came into the back three.
Kevin Strootman started for Roma after missing the weekend loss to Napoli.
And the visitors then turned the game on its head after the break, striking twice in the space of six minutes through Dzeko, the forward’s 58th and 59th goals for the club in just 100 matches.
The Bosnian’s first strike was a sensational first-time volley after being picked out by Federico Fazio’s ball over the top, while his second was a deft header to nod in Kolarov’s free-kick from the left edge of the box.
Chelsea avoided a third straight loss for the first time in 11 years, however, when the unmarked Hazard nodded in Pedro’s right-wing cross to end a breathless night at Stamford Bridge.
- Roma have never won an away game against English opposition in the Champions League (D3 L6).
- Eden Hazard scored his first Champions League goals since March 11th 2015 vs PSG – 952 days ago.
- Hazard’s two goals on Wednesday were more than he had managed in his previous 14 games in all competitions for Chelsea (1).
- This is the first time that a team managed by Antonio Conte has conceded three goals in a Champions League game.
- Chelsea have scored four goals from outside the box in the Champions League this season, more than any other team.
- Roma have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 23 away games in the Champions League.
- Six of David Luiz’s last seven goals for Chelsea in all competitions have come from outside the box
- Edin Dzeko made his 100th appearance for AS Roma in all competitions and has netted 59 goals so far
Man of the Match – Diego Perotti
The little Argentine was a thorn in Chelsea’s side all night long, with the home team’s back three unable to cope with his trickery and dancing feet.
And while the winger was not directly involved in any of Roma’s three goals, his influence down the left helped create space in other areas of the pitch for his team-mates to exploit.
Chelsea entertain Watford at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime, a match you can see live on Sky Sports Premier League.