This was the first competitive game for Jose Mourinho, whereas the Turkish hosts had already played three matches. The second leg of this play-off will be at the Stadio Olimpico next Thursday.
Mkhitaryan then had a goal disallowed on 25 minutes for his earlier handball, though the technique of smashing it off the underside of the crossbar was impressive.
The deadlock was finally broken when Mkhitaryan’s pass to the back post found Pellegrini ready for a well-taken cushioned volley off the inside of the right boot. Away goals no longer count double for UEFA competition, but it is still a precious strike and the first of Mourinho’s Roma tenure.
Gervinho’s pull-back from the by-line sparked a panic in the Roma defence, but ex-Parma striker Cornelius came off the bench and scored with his first touch, rising above Gianluca Mancini to nod in the Bruno Peres cross from the right. There were suspicions of offside on Peres, but there is no VAR in the Conference League.
The Giallorossi seemed shaken and Rui Patricio had to make two saves on Anthony Nwakaeme, but they recovered and restored their lead on a corner.
Mancini’s header bounced off the inside of the upright and Shomurodov was quickest to react on the rebound.
Trabzonspor 1-2 Roma
Pellegrini 55 (R), Cornelius 64 (T), Shomurodov 81 (R)
Roma: Rui Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Vina; Cristante, Veretout (Diawara 90); Zaniolo (Reynolds 93), Pellegrini (Kumbulla 90), Mkhitaryan (Perez 82); Shomurodov (Mayoral 82)
Ref: Jug (SVN)
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 19, 2021