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Roma squeeze through after draw with BATE

Roma 0-0 BATE Borisov
The excellence of Wojciech Szczęsny and Sergei Chernik ensured there were no goals as Roma pipped Leverkusen to second spot in Group E.

Highlights: Roma 0-0 BATE
Highlights: Roma 0-0 BATE
  • Both goalkeepers shine as Roma and BATE Borisov play out 0-0 draw
  • Wojciech Szczęsny keeps Roma in competition with instinctive close-range stop
  • Italian side emulate Zenit (2013/14) in qualifying with record low of six points
  • Roma concede 16 goals, two more than any other team that ever progressed
  • Round of 16 draw takes place at 12.00CET on Monday

Roma are through to the round of 16 for the first time since 2010/11 after a goalless draw against BATE Borisov – coupled with Bayer Leverkusen's failure to beat Barcelona – secured second place in UEFA Champions League Group E.

The Giallorossi could not find a way past Sergei Chernik and in the end owed their progress to their own keeper, Wojciech Szczęsny, for an instinctive close-range stop to somehow deny Mikhail Gordeichuk. BATE, who took four of their five points off Roma, finish fourth.  

Rudi Garcia had likened the game to a derby given the stakes, so it was no surprise that Roma's early intensity was high. The pattern was soon set – the Wolves probing and BATE sitting back – yet for all of their first-half endeavours the Serie A side only elicited one save of note from Chernik, who dived to his right to repel Miralem Pjanić's free-kick.

Szczęsny: It's all about the last 16
Szczęsny: It's all about the last 16

That, though, was not enough to placate a frustrated home support, who made their displeasure known as the half-time whistle sounded. Within two minutes of the restart they were lamenting a second Chernik intervention as the BATE No1 frustrated Edin Džeko, fed by compatriot Pjanić, in a one-on-one.

Chernik soon came to the visitors' aid again, thwarting Alessandro Florenzi with his legs. His team in need of a spark, Garcia introduced the fit-again Mohamed Salah for his first appearance in a month.

Midway through the half Szczęsny scampered across his line to block from Gordeichuk. Sensing an opportunity to leapfrog their opponents, BATE asked another question of Szczęsny ten minutes later; again, the on-loan Arsenal man had the answer, beating Filip Mladenović's effort into the air.

©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images