Roma 5 Viktoria Plzen 0: Dzeko hits hat-trick as winning streak continues

Justin Kluivert scored his first goal for Roma while Edin Dzeko hit a hat-trick and Cengiz Under netted in a 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen.

Roma's hat-trick hero, Edin Dzeko   -  Getty Images

Edin Dzeko took his goal tally against Viktoria Plzen to eight in five games with a second consecutive hat-trick against the Czech champion as Roma got its Champions League campaign back on track with a 5-0 win.

After slipping to a 3-0 reverse against Real Madrid in its Group G opener, Eusebio Di Francesco's side took charge against Plzen which gave Dzeko the kind of space he has been craving all season as he netted two first-half goals.

The Bosnian striker scored a hat-trick against Plzen in the Europa League in 2016-17 and history repeated itself, but not before he provided a key contribution towards Roma's third, which was scored by Cengiz Under.

Justin Kluivert scored his first goal for the club, stroking the ball home after Under's effort was saved, before Dzeko rose to head home a corner in the dying moments of an excellent night for Di Francesco's men.

Aleksandar Kolarov's well-timed throughball allowed Dzeko to beat the Plzen offside trap inside three minutes and, taking aim with his left foot, steer the ball accurately into the far corner of the net beyond Matus Kozacik.

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Plzen was pinned back until the 20th minute, when Reznik sent a free header narrowly wide from close range, but Roma soon resumed its dominance and Under crashed a wonderful dipping effort onto the crossbar as it pushed for a second.

That goal arrived when Under floated the ball into the box, where Dzeko chested it down and lashed it high into the net to leave Roma comfortable at the break.

Under used the instep of his left foot to guide the ball around Kozacik for Roma's third after neat build-up play from Dzeko and Lorenzo Pellegrini, and the Turkish winger's rebounded shot afforded Kluivert the chance to add a fourth with a shot that bounced over the stranded goalkeeper.

Federico Fazio had a goal ruled out for offside before Dzeko made amends in the 92nd minute, powering a header into the bottom left corner of the net from Alessandro Florenzi's corner.

What it means: Dzeko back in the groove

Roma arrived at this fixture with two wins from its last two games and extended its good form but the performance of hat-trick hero Dzeko, who had just one goal to his name this season before the game, will have delighted Di Francesco.

Nzonzi the steady hand Roma need

Roma's season threatened to unravel when it went five games without a win but the way Steven Nzonzi is anchoring the midfield, sitting deep and giving team-mates a constant option against Plzen, is helping to transform its fortunes.

Krmencik fails to shine on the big stage

Michael Krmencik has been in fine form for Plzen this season and he scored twice in its Champions League group stage opener against CSKA Moscow but he cut a lonely figure in Rome, failing to capitalise on the few chances that came his way.

What's next

Plzen, which is second in the Czech First League on goal difference, faces Teplice at home on Sunday, while Roma travels to Empoli looking for their first Serie A away win since the opening day of the season.

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