Miralem Pjanic netted a late penalty as Roma claimed a 3-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in an enthralling clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night.
• Roma 3, Leverkusen 2
• Salah and Dzeko put Roma in front
• Mehmedi pulls one back
• Hernandez levels matters
• Pjanic wins it from the spot
Roma started in the best possible fashion as Mohamed Salah opened the scoring with a composed finish with just two minutes on the clock.
It didn't take the Serie A side long to double their advantage and Leverkusen were guilty of some sloppy defending once more as Edin Dzeko tapped home from close range.
Leverkusen enjoyed a fast start to the second half and incredibly pulled the game back level with goals from Admir Mehmedi and Javier Hernandez, but a late penalty from Pjanic ensured a win for the Italians.
Roma wasted no time in leaving their mark on the game and were ahead inside the first two minutes when a fine counter-attack saw Dzeko hold up the ball expertly before playing in Salah, who made no mistake with his finish.
Leverkusen spurned an excellent chance to get back into the match when Hakan Çalhanoglu whipped in a superb free-kick only to see Javier Hernandez fail to tap home at the far post.
Leverkusen were just starting to impose their passing on the hosts but found themselves two goals down when Radja Nainggolan played Dzeko in on goal with a defence-splitting pass and the Bosnian slotted home past Bernd Leno.
Dzeko then missed a glorious chance to put the game out of sight for the Germans after some good interplay by Salah and Gervinho found the Manchester City man unmarked in the area but the striker ballooned his effort over the bar.
After half-time, and it was Leverkusen's turn to make a blistering start as Mehmedi found space on the edge of the area and fired an excellent curling effort past Wojciech Szczesny.
Moments later and the Bundsliga side were level, this time Mehmedi turning provider as he found Hernandez and the Mexican made no mistake with an excellent finish to level the scores.
They could have completed an incredible turnaround when Mehmedi blew past Maicon down the right and fired a fierce drive that Szczesny saved well with his feet.
The tempo slowed down considerably after a frantic start to the half and Roma looked relieved to have survived the onslaught before having a penalty shout when Dzeko went down in the box, but the referee waved play on.
They were awarded a spot-kick 10 minutes from time, however, when a goalmouth scramble saw the ball fall to Salah and with the goal gaping, Leverkusen skipper Ömer Toprak pushed the Egyptian and got sent off for his troubles.
Miralem Pjanic stepped up and converted the spot-kick to give Roma a hard-fought win as they held on to keep their hopes of making the knockout phase alive.