Needing to save face after conceding three first half goals, Roma's Jérémy Menez delivered a fantastic right-footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner of the goal off a headed assist from Simone Perrotta.
But that was all the scoring Roma would do in the second half, despite a number of opportunities, in a 3-2 home loss to Shakhtar.
The prospects now look bleak for the Italian club as they have to play Shakhtar in Donetsk in the second leg next month.
Shakhtar's first half was an example of taking advantage of opportunities -- particularly for Douglas Costa who delivered an excellent shot to give Shakhtar the lead that they would not give up.
For Roma, the struggles continue. They have recent losses to Inter Milan and Napoli, and were hoping to regain some confidence with a Champions League victory. They didn't get much good luck, either, as Shaktar forward Jadson's first half strike was deflected off Daniele De Rossi and into the goal.
Even more demoralizing play for Roma was when John Arne Riise stumbled while controling the ball, setting up a Luiz Adriano goal.
The play at times seemed error-filled and overly physical, with a combined seven yellow cards issued, and 39 fouls.
Costa seemed to be the player of the match, with a goal and assist contribution for the winners.