Stephan El Shaarawy struck twice to help thrust AS Roma to the top of their UEFA Champions League group with a convincing 3-0 win over Chelsea on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that El Shaarawy’s thunderous shot after just 39 seconds provided the opener and it was the fastest goal of this season’s Champions League.
Following the sides’ thrilling 3-3 draw in London two weeks earlier, El Shaarawy’s brace was the highlight of another impressive display from Roma.
It allowed them to leapfrog the English champions at the summit of Group C.
In spite of Chelsea creating early chances, Antonio Rudiger’s defensive indecision allowed El Shaarawy to nip in for a neatly-taken second after 36 minutes.
Not for the first time this season, Chelsea again looked uncharacteristically disorganised at the back as Diego Perotti thrashed home a third after 63 minutes.
The win moved Roma on to eight points, one clear of Chelsea, who slipped to second.
In other Champions League matches also played on Tuesday, an own goal from a luckless goalkeeper Mile Svilar set Benfica on the road to a 0-2 loss.
A late Daley Blind penalty kick saw Manchester United win at Old Trafford.
FC Barcelona’s seemingly inevitable passage to the Champions League last 16 was postponed by a determined Olympiakos Piraeus.
The Greek champions held the Spanish giants to a 0-0 draw in an absorbing Group D clash.
Also, Atletico Madrid’s Champions League hopes hang in the balance after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Group C minnows Qarabag from Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
This was in spite of their playing a large part of the second half with an extra man.
Meanwhile, Paris St Germain qualified for the Champions League last 16 in emphatic fashion when they extended their perfect Group B record with a home 5-0 win against Anderlecht. (Reuters/NAN)