Shakhtar Donetsk proved that they are not in the Champions League just to make up the numbers on Wednesday by staging an impressive comeback against Italian heavyweights A.S. Roma.
The Miners fought back to keep their winning home record in the Champions League intact having already beaten Manchester City, Napoli and Feyenoord in Kharkiv this season.
Roma had taken a first-half lead through the inform Cengiz Ünder but two outstanding individual goals from Shakhtar have given the Ukrainian side the advantage ahead of the second-leg in Rome on March 13.
The visitors were quick out the traps and looked to get the early advantage. However, their high press allowed Shakhtar to get in behind and former Newcastle striker Facundo Ferreyra was inches away from putting the hosts in front.
Minutes later Roma could have found themselves with the lead. A pinpoint cross from Aleksandar Kolarov fortuitously bounced off the leg of Edin Džeko and appeared to be going in but the quick reactions of Andriy Pyatov kept the ball from crossing the line.
An outstanding combination between Cengiz Ünder and Diego Perotti should have lead to the opening goal after 20 minutes but a tame right-footed effort from Džeko was easily stopped by Shakhtar's veteran goalkeeper.
Clear-cut chances were at a premium throughout much of the first-half until Edin Džeko's inch-perfect pass fell to the left foot of Ünder in the 41st minute.
The 20-year-old took a delicate touch and composed himself before placing the ball - albeit with a huge deflection of the foot of Pyatov - into the back of the net to register his fifth goal in just four games.
A late and serious injury to Serhiy Krytsov saw the first-half action come to a close and left Shakhtar looking to respond straight after the restart.
After seeing a half-chance easily saved by Alisson, Facundo Ferreyra brilliantly dispatched the ball past Roma's Brazilian goalkeeper after racing onto the end of a Yaroslav Rakitskiy through ball.
Minutes later, Marlos somehow wasted the opportunity to complete Shakhtar's quickfire turnaround with a close-range effort on his stronger foot and Alisson was then called into action again to keep out a crisp effort from Taison.
What a free-kick from Fred. He’s actually had a fairly sub-par game, but Christ that’s a way to change the course of things! 2-1 to Shakhtar!— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) February 21, 2018
However, rumoured Manchester City target Fred then took the game into his own hands by firing an outstanding free kick from just outside the box off the underside of the bar to put Shakhtar in front.
Roma saw some late half-chances easily kept out by Andriy Pyatov, with a little scrap between Taison and Diego Perotti proving to be the last action of the game. Shakhtar have secured their fourth consecutive victory over Roma in the Champions League and will be full of confidence ahead of the second-leg.