Having been placed alongside Bayern Munich, Roma and CSKA Moscow, Manchester City fans knew qualification from Champions League Group E would be tough, but it just got even harder after a 1-1 draw at home against the Italians.
Win and the defeat in Munich on match day one could be forgotten about, lose and qualification would seem a long way away.
The game couldn't have started any better for City who took the lead inside four minutes when Maicon pulled down Sergio Aguero in the box and the Argentine striker calmly converted the penalty.
Instead of taking a grip of the game thereafter, however, City found themselves struggling to deal with the movement of Francesco Totti and the pace of Gervinho.
It was Totti who equalised for Roma when his composed chipped finish over Joe Hart made him the oldest goalscorer in the competition's history at 38.
Both teams worked hard to find openings in the first half but the second was much more about Roma's ability to soak up pressure.
Naturally, the Italians coped with ease and the game finished 1-1, leaving Manuel Pellegrini's side facing a tough trip to Moscow next.
Here are our player ratings for Tuesday night's match:
Joe Hart - 6 - Showed bravery by rushing out to deny Gervinho in the early stages but slipped when Totti was through on goal, allowing the Roma man to chip over him.
Produced good saves from Gervinho and Pjanic on his return to the side but his slip will define his performance, unfortunately.
Pablo Zabaleta - 6 - Remains a consistent part of the City back four but once again found himself in the book for a reckless lunge. Luckily there was no second yellow this week and he produced a number of good touches in the opposition half, including a dangerous cross for David Silva in the latter stages
Vincent Kompany - 5 - Usually so dependable, Kompany has to be disappointed with the way he allowed Totti to spin off him in the build up to the equaliser. The Belgian dealt well with the Roma threat for the majority of the game but his involvement in Totti's goal overshadowed an otherwise consistent performance.
Martin Demichelis - 5 - Like his captain, he'll be bitterly disappointed with his part in Roma's goal. Once Totti had got clear of Kompany, Demichelis needed to be quicker to cover the gaping hole in the defence. Pellegrini must be wondering why he overlooked Eliaquim Mangala
Gael Clichy - 6 - Simply couldn't cope with the double threat of Gervinho and Maicon in the first half, but will put that down to the lack of cover from Silva in the left-wing position. He got in the occasional useful position as time ticked down but had little to work with.
Jesus Navas - 5 - Withdrawn at half-time due to a tactical shake up, but Navas can have little complaint. Had one bright moment when he ended a superb run with a teasing cross that seemed to be handled by Manolas, but overall a forgettable night.
Yaya Toure - 5 - City fans would have been hoping for a big performance from their big midfielder after his less than spectacular showing in Munich but they simply didn't get it. He looked leggy when being asked to chase midfield runners and will have to do much more in possession if City are to go far.
Fernandinho - 5 - Perhaps a slightly harsh rating, but the Brazilian midfielder really didn't do a lot. He spent the first half chasing Nainggolan and Pjanic and offered little penetration when City had more possession late on. Linked up well with Toure and Lampard on one occasion near the end but the fact he was crowded out at the vital moment keeps his rating down.
David Silva - 7 - A rare bright spark in a somewhat dull Man City performance. This man uses the ball so intelligently, as proved with his through ball for Aguero in the build up to the penalty. Yes he neglected his defensive duties early on, but that would have been forgotten if he'd finished a late chance.
Edin Dzeko - 6 - City's strikeforce received little in the way of decent service, making it hard to impress. Whenever the ball did arrive at his feet, Roma were happy to bring him down to slow the tempo. Although he ultimately produced little, he can't be blamed and will be disappointed to have been subbed so early.
Sergio Aguero - 6 - His movement to win the penalty was exactly what we've come to expect from the little Argentine and it was no surprise he dispatched the penalty with such composure. Like Dzeko, he'd have hoped for better service.
James Milner - 6 - Showed why he's been a regular starter of late with a good second-half showing. Maybe should have created slightly more but his energy certainly caused problems.
Frank Lampard - 6 - Somewhat of a Champions League veteran these days, Lampard brought calm to the City midfield and produced two trademark long-range efforts without scoring.
Stevan Jovetic - 4 - Given little time to impress but he did help create one late chance for Silva. Moments later he decided to try his luck from fully 40-yards out for seemingly no reason at all.
Lukasz Skorupski - 6 - The young goalkeeper was making only his third start for Roma and his first in the Champions League. Had no chance with the penalty and was rarely tested after. He'll be content with his display.
Maicon - 5 - A real mixed bag of a performance from the experienced Brazilian. Quite why he decided to pull down Aguero in the box in the first five minutes we'll never know. Within minutes he was making barnstorming runs forward and smashed the bar with a thumping effort.
Kostas Manolas - 7 - Although he was perhaps lucky not to concede a penalty for handling a Navas cross, he'll be happy with his performance. He was expected to have his work cut out marking Aguero but coped commendably.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa - 6 - His game would be vastly improved if he stopped diving in at every occasion. Should have been booked simply for the number of fouls he totaled up but ultimately played his part in a solid Roma defence.
Ashley Cole - 7 - The former England man did everything that was asked of him. He wasn't phased by Navas' pace and stood firm when City piled on the pressure in the latter stages. Still looks international quality.
Seydou Keita - 7 - Like Yanga-Mbiwa, he was guilty of persistent fouling but Rudi Garcia will be pleased with how he nullified City. His performance ensured Roma didn't miss the injured Daniele de Rossi too much.
Radja Nainggolan - 8 - Terrible haircut, great engine. The Belgian midfielder produced a perfect through-ball for Totti's goal and put City's midfielders under continual pressure from the first minute to the last.
Miralem Pjanic - 7 - Like Silva, Pjanic is intelligent in possession and that's an important commodity for the modern midfielder. Was denied a goal by a good save from Hart when he probably should have scored.
Alessandro Florenzi - 6 - The least effective of Roma's attacking trio, Florenzi failed to make any real impact on the game and was unsurprisingly substituted as Roma looked to hold on.
Gervinho - 7 - First-half performance warranted a much higher rating but he faded dramatically after the break. His pace terrorised the City defence and he produced a blistering effort when there looked to be little on. If he could produce for 90 minutes he'd be a star.
Francesco Totti - 8 - The man from the Eternal City continues to shine. His finish proved class really is permanent and his movement and control caused City trouble. Now the oldest goalscorer in Champions League history, the record breaking strike probably won't be his last if he can carry on performing like this.
Juan Iturbe - 5 - Replaced Totti with 20 minutes remaining and barely touched the ball, although in his defence, hardly anyone in a black shirt did for the last period of the game.
Jose Holebas - 5 - Simply introduced to help soak up pressure. Roma didn't concede in the ten minutes he was on so that's job done.
Vasilis Torosidis - Stoppage time was already upon us when he replaced the injury Maicon, making it impossible to give him a rating.