Roma leapfrogs Chelsea to seal prestigious top seed

When the draw was announced in August, Roma wasn’t favoured to win Group C.

But a combination of results Tuesday allowed the Italian club to capture first place and the top seed that comes with it.

The Giallorossi held up their end of the bargain in a 1-0 win over Qarabag and leapfrogged Chelsea after the Blues dropped points to Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea had already qualified for the Round of 16.

Diego Perotti‘s uncontested header was enough for Roma to overcome the surprisingly tough Qarabag. The first Azerbaijani side to make the Champions League group stage, Qarabag ended up at the bottom of Group C with two points earned from draws with Atletico.

Roma finished with an identical 11-point tally to Chelsea, but advanced due to a superior head-to-head record.

The capital outfit last won a Champions League group in 2010-11.

It’s an amazing achievement for manager Eusebio Di Francesco, who took over a team in transition. The emergence of Perotti and Stephan El Shaarawy has more than compensated for the departure of Mohamed Salah, while Di Francesco’s 4-3-3 formation has also brought success.

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