x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Vucinic double helps Roma stun Chelsea

Two goals by Mirko Vucinic guided Roma to a surprise 3-1 win over last season's runners-up Chelsea in the Champions League.

Deco, left, argues with referee Luis Medina Cantalejo after receiving a red card against Roma.
Deco, left, argues with referee Luis Medina Cantalejo after receiving a red card against Roma.

ROME // Two goals by Mirko Vucinic guided Roma to a surprise 3-1 win over last season's runners-up Chelsea in the Champions League last night. The former Chelsea defender Christian Panucci tapped in the first from close range on 34 minutes and the Montenegro striker Vucinic struck twice at the start of the second half as Roma ended a run of five consecutive defeats. The Londoners pulled one back through captain John Terry with 15 minutes remaining before having midfielder Deco sent off for a second yellow card five minutes later.

Chelsea stay top of Group A with seven points from four games, one point ahead of the Italians and Girondins Bordeaux. "It's a result that gives us a little breather, a little tranquillity," the Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said after the match. "The lads were exceptional. They immediately measured up the opposition. They won an important game and deserved it." Chelsea appeared in complete control until the unmarked Panucci strolled through a sleepy defence to convert a right-wing cross from close range.

The visitors had enjoyed most of the possession, forcing good saves out of the Brazilian goalkeeper Doni from long-range efforts by Deco and Frank Lampard (twice). But the goal lifted the Serie A side's confidence and Vucinic drove the ball in from outside the box three minutes after the break to make it 2-0. He then capped off a long run down the left with a cool finish in the 58th minute with Chelsea's defence scattered.

Terry, who scored the winner in the 1-0 home win over Roma two weeks ago, pulled one back when he converted a left-wing cross. "We didn't play well. We made mistakes at critical times and Roma killed the game," said the Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. "No one followed Panucci and he scored. After this Roma played with four or five in midfield and controlled the game." Scolari was still upbeat about his side's chances of reaching the knockout stages.

"If we win one more game we are there. We'll have 10 points." One Italian was arrested and three English fans and a policeman was injured in minor incidents before the game, the ANSA news agency reported. A Roma supporter was also receiving hospital treatment after falling four metres while celebrating. *Reuters

Anorthosis Famagusta 3 Inter Milan 3 Barcelona 1 Basel 1 CFR Cluj 1 Bordeaux 2 Liverpool 1 Atletico Madrid 1 Marseille 3 PSV Eindhoven 0 Roma 3 Chelsea 1 Sporting Lisbon 1 Shakhtar Donetsk 0 Werder Bremen 0 Panathinaikos 3