Hazard rescues Chelsea in six-goal thriller with Roma

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard’s goals were his first for Chelsea this season

Eden Hazard rescued Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the Champions League group stage after a dominant Roma had fought back from two goals down to lead in a pulsating game at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard scored in each half, heading in to level from Pedro’s cross with 15 minutes to go to keep the Blues top of Group C.

The Belgium forward had given Chelsea a two-goal lead in the first half after David Luiz scored a wonderful opener.

But the Serie A side fought back, with Aleksandar Kolarov scoring before Edin Dzeko netted twice in six minutes.

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The striker’s first was a sensational volley, and Dzeko then combined with fellow former Manchester City man Kolarov to head in and put the visitors in front.

That lead lasted just five minutes as Hazard levelled to keep Chelsea’s two-point lead intact, with Atletico Madrid held to a goalless draw by FK Qarabag in the other Group C game.

Hazard saves stuttering Chelsea

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte knows what it takes to win the Champions League, having done so as a player with Juventus in 1995-96, though the trophy has so far eluded the Italian as a manager.

But Conte has warned the Blues hierarchy his squad is stretched, despite spending nearly £180m in the summer, with the English champions suffering successive defeats in the Premier League to Manchester City and bottom-placed Crystal Palace.

Chelsea were nearly staring at a third loss in a row in all competitions for the first time since 2006, as Roma outclassed the hosts with a high-pressing game that saw the Italians dominate possession and make nearly 200 more passes than their English counterparts.

It was the first time a Conte side has conceded three goals in a Champions League game, and it could have been more as Dzeko headed wide late on following his superb double.

But, ultimately, Chelsea remain top of the group after three games, as they again dug out a result – having scored a 94th-minute winner against Atletico Madrid last time out in Europe.

Conte has Hazard to thank for that, with the Belgian first putting the Blues into a two-goal lead with a smart finish from a deflected Alvaro Morata shot and then guiding a header beyond goalkeeper Alisson after Roma’s fantastic response.

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