Nicolò Zaniolo was on target and helped create goals for Carles Perez and Tammy Abraham, including the England international’s spectacular overhead kick, as Roma crushed Zorya 4-0.
Direct qualification for the Round of 16 is still up in the air, because Bodo/Glimt beat CSKA Sofia to consolidate first place.
The Giallorossi dropped to second place after one point from two games with Bodo/Glimt, including the humiliating 6-1 loss in Norway. With Matias Vina and Riccardo Calafiori still injured, Bryan Cristante and Gonzalo Villar with COVID, Jose Mourinho again adopted a three-man defence.
Nicolò Zaniolo was given a chance to shine and took it, as within the opening three minutes he set up Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Tammy Abraham, only for their finishing to disappoint.
There was also a huge scare at the other end, Rui Patricio flying to palm away a ferocious Lovro Cvek strike from a short corner. He also had his gloves stung by a Juninho cross-shot at the near post.
Roma broke the deadlock when Stephan El Shaarawy sprung the offside trap down the left and rolled it across with a perfectly-weighted ball for Carles Perez to turn in first time at the back post.
Zaniolo stung the goalkeeper’s gloves from a tricky angle and got his goal eventually when meeting the Jordan Veretout run from midfield, taking a touch and smashing in the angled drive.
Perez was brought down by Vladyslav Kabaiev for a penalty, but Veretout saw his spot-kick saved by Dmytro Matsapura at full stretch. Incredibly, the midfielder went from a perfect record on penalties to seeing two saved in a row after the Juventus attempt.
Within seconds of the restart, Zaniolo had sent a defender to ground with a cheeky dummy and instead of going for goal, rolled it across for Abraham to tap in from six yards.
It was almost another for Abraham moments later, the angled drive skimming the upright, but the England international’s poor finish wasted a golden opportunity laid off on a silver platter for him by El Shaarawy.
Abraham missed the easiest chances, but scored the most difficult, as a deflection knocked the ball straight up and he performed a perfect overhead kick from seven yards.
Roma 4-0 Zorya
Perez 15 (R), Zaniolo 33 (R), Abraham 46, 75 (R)
Saved penalty: Veretout 40 (R)