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Dzeko Leads the Charge as Roma Downs Viktoria Plzen 4-1

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Well, that was easy. Onto the knockout stages we go!

AS Roma v FC Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Europa League Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Every once and awhile the calcio gods do me a favor, and in this instance, with Roma playing smack dab in the middle of (American) Thanksgiving, they came up huge, as I was only able to catch the waning minutes of the second half. Fortunately for me, Roma was all aces today (at least in second half) as they buried Viktoria Plzen 4-1, thanks to an Edin Dzeko hat trick and an absolute jaw dropper from Diego Perotti.

So, as we often do in these cases, let’s just bask in the glory of the goals. First up, Mr. Dzeko.

Edin Dzeko: 11th Minute

I mean, at this point I might have to send him a letter apologizing for all the snarky things I said about him because, quite simply, he’s been amazing this season, but good lord, look at that goal! Who knew Dzeko could move like that!? I don’t know who that defender was, but Dzeko shook him at least three times before somehow burying the ball in the far upper corner WITH HIS WEAKER FOOT.

I’m honestly at a loss for words; his transformation this season has been remarkable. Simply remarkable. Take a bow Mr. Dzeko, you may ever score a better goal. Even Totti was impressed

But, since this is Roma, they would concede almost instantaneously, as Zdenek Zeman’s grandson (probably) Martin drew one back in the 18th minute, but as he’s so often done this season, Dzeko struck again.

Edin Dzeko: 61st Minute

Nothing out of the ordinary on this one, though it’s great to hear the German announcer actually say Antonio Rüdiger’s name, but these are the sort of goals you’d expect from Dzeko, rising up to bury a cross. Dzeko’s eventual match winner seemed so effortless compared to the first one, but with the amount of crosses the fire his way, it’s nice to see him put one away.

While those goals were great and everything, Diego Perotti embarrassed the other 21 men on the pitch in the 82nd minute with a jaw dropper.

Diego Perotti: 82nd Minute

I...I...have no words. Did he mean to cross that? Who knows? Did it take a deflection? Perhaps, but either way, look at the balls on Diego, pulling off a Rabona from an angle, unreal.

This second clip is even better...

Look at his reaction, if you can all it that, how in the world could you be so subdued after pulling that off? It leads me to believe he was just crossing it, or at the very least it was a “fuck it, we’re winning there’s eight minutes left, why not?”

No matter his motivation, you’re looking at the goal of the year there, folks.

Not one to let Perotti have the last word, Dzeko made it three several minutes later, tapping home a cross from...you guessed it, Perotti.

Edin Dzeko: 88th Minute

Pretty simple stuff there, though credit Dzeko for going five-hole on the keeper, just to add a bit of flourish to a rather one-sided affair.

With this victory, Roma has wrapped up Group E and assured safe passage to the knockout stages, hopefully giving Spalletti a chance to play the kids when the Giallorossi takes on Astra Giurgiu on December 8th.

Roma jumps back into domestic action on Sunday when they’ll go fishing for Dolphins as they welcome Pescara to the Olimpico.