Dzeko: Roma deserved great win for patience against Shakhtar

Jose Verdugo
Marcha 14, 2018

Roma's Edin Dzeko celebrates scoring their first goal against Shakhtar Donetsk at Stadio Olimpico in Rome March 13, 2018.

Ukrainians Shakhtar had Ivan Ordets sent off after he pulled Dzeko down by the shirt.

A 1-0 win, after a 2-1 defeat in Kharkiv, took Roma through on away goals as Dzeko scored seven minutes into the second half with the game's first chance of note. Kevin Strootman beat the offside trap with a through ball that Dzeko collected just inside the penalty area on the left, and with Andriy Pyatov out to play it, Dzeko calmly finished between the goalkeeper's legs from 16 yards.

"We were patient. We knew that one goal could see us reach the quarter-finals. All the other teams are strong but we are strong too".

Shakhtar were unlucky not to get an away goal of their own early on when Roma's Alessandro Florenzi nearly headed an in-swinging free-kick into his own net with a glancing clearance.

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Roma's solitary glimpse of goal in the opening half came in the 28th minute when visiting keeper Pyatov palmed away a fizzing low cross by Aleksandar Kolarov to deny Dzeko a simple tap-in from close range.

The home side came out with renewed objective in the second half and Dzeko delighted Roma fans when he broke the deadlock with a trademark clinical finish.

Despite being a man down, Shakhtar launched a late onslaught and had several risky raids down the left but the home team's defence held on until the final whistle.

Roma's former captain Francesco Totti, who watched anxiously from the terraces, was overjoyed at fulltime.

"A fantastic result, a fantastic Roma: among the best eight sides in Europe", he posted.

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