AS Roma staged a determined fightback against ten-man FC Girondins de Bordeaux to clinch their first win in Group A as second-half goals from Mirko Vučinić and Júlio Baptista, who scored twice, boosted the Italian club's hopes of reaching the knockout stage.
Defeated by CFR 1907 Cluj in their opening game, last season's Serie A runners-up were in trouble again in south-west France after an excellent start from the hosts was rewarded by Yoann Gourcuff's fine goal. But after Henrique's 36th-minute dismissal, Roma turned the contest around with two goals in seven minutes, before substitute Baptista completed the victory with his second goal late on. The result leaves Bordeaux bottom of the section without a point from two games.
Unsatisfied with the passive nature of the performance at Chelsea FC, Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc had called for controlled aggression and he got exactly that in an energetic opening half-hour. Captain in the absence of injured Ulrich Ramé, Alou Diarra cut an imposing figure in central midfield alongside the composed Fernando, offering Jussiê, Gourcuff and Gabriel Obertan an ideal platform from which to spring forward.
Jussiê was particularly lively on his competition debut, posing Cicinho difficulties with his speed and direct running. The Brazilian carved the first opening on nine minutes, accelerating through the heart of the Roma defence and collecting Marouane Chamakh's return pass only to see his shot blocked by Doni. Gourcuff, however, soon showed his team-mate the way to goal. The playmaker, on loan from AC Milan, had already arrowed one shot narrowly wide when he opened the scoring with a brilliant curling effort on 18 minutes. After collecting Jussiê's pass, the French international set himself with two exemplary touches before arcing a low right-footed strike inside the far post from the edge of the box.
The Roman response came in the form of a powerful John Arne Riise free-kick that just flashed the wrong side of Mathieu Valverde's upright, yet Luciano Spalletti's men were struggling to create from open play. The complexion of the game changed, though, as the commitment Blanc had demanded spilled over into foul play and Henrique was dismissed for swinging an elbow towards Rodrigo Taddei as they vied for a free-kick.
Bordeaux were immediately forced into two changes, the injured Jussiê making way for Wendel, and an extra centre-back Marc Planus replacing Obertan. Nevertheless the hosts continued to play positively and almost doubled their advantage on the cusp of half-time, Wendel nodding Franck Jurietti's centre wide when well placed.
Roma gradually found their feet, though, and with Baptista and Stefano Okaka Chuka sent on by Spalletti early in the second period, the visitors began to increase the pressure. The ten men of Bordeaux eventually cracked on 64 minutes, Vučinić heading Daniele De Rossi's corner forcefully home at the near post. If that was hard on the French outfit, matters got worse seven minutes later as Baptista marked his return from injury with a delicate free-kick goal, lifting the ball over the wall and leaving Valverde rooted to the spot. The Brazil international then rounded matters off on 83 minutes, stroking in Taddei's volleyed cross.