Chelsea fell to second in Champions League Group C behind Roma as Stephan El Shaarawy inspired a memorable triumph in the Italian capital.
Stephan El Shaarawy’s first-half brace set Roma on the way to a resounding 3-0 win over Chelsea that displaced their visitors at the top of Champions League Group C.
Antonio Conte’s reigning Premier League champions would have secured a last-16 spot with a win but that appeared a tall order from the moment El Shaarawy opened the scoring after 39 seconds.
The former AC Milan forward scored spectacularly to sink Bologna 1-0 in Serie A last time out and his rasping opener was another goal to remember.
For his second, El Shaarawy owed much to the charity of Antonio Rudiger, the Chelsea defender who endured a forgettable return to his former club, before Diego Perotti brought the house down with another stunning long ranger after the hour.
Roma were the side to come back from a hefty deficit when the sides drew 3-3 at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago but Chelsea were not such willing dance partners and must now dust themselves down for a crunch clash with Manchester United this weekend.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s hosts coughed up a chance from kick-off but found themselves a goal to the good inside a pulsating first minute.
Chelsea forward Pedro latched on to Tiemoue Bakayoko’s pass to shoot tamely at Alisson before Aleksandar Kolarov carried the ball forward in response and launched a searching pass from the left towards Edin Dzeko.
The striker misjudged the flight of the ball but it struck the back of his head and fell invitingly for El Shaarawy to lash home an unstoppable shot from 25 yards, with Thibaut Courtois rooted to the spot.
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