El Shaarawy strikes twice as Roma rout Chelsea 3-0

Soccer Football - Champions League - A.S. Roma vs Chelsea - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - October 31, 2017 AS Roma's Radja Nainggolan shares a joke with Chelsea's Eden Hazard at the end of the match REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

ROME (Reuters) – Stephan El Shaarawy struck twice, including the fastest goal of this season’s Champions League after just 39 seconds, to help thrust AS Roma to the top of their Champions League group with a convincing 3-0 win over lacklustre Chelsea on Tuesday.

Following the sides’ thrilling 3-3 draw in London two weeks earlier, the Italian international striker’s brace was the highlight of another impressive display from Roma which allowed them to leapfrog the English champions at the summit of Group C.

El Shaarawy’s thunderous first-minute shot was the earliest recorded in any match in the competition this term and, despite Chelsea creating early chances, Antonio Rudiger’s defensive indecision allowed him 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 to move Roma on to eight points, one clear of Chelsea, who slip to second.

Soccer Football – Champions League – A.S. Roma vs Chelsea – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – October 31, 2017 AS Roma’s Radja Nainggolan celebrates with Daniele De Rossi at the end of the match REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com