Courtois produced a stunning save from point-blank range to thwart Roma sub Kostas Manolas, and while the Blues enjoyed plenty of possession in the attacking third late on we were unable to find the killer pass or moment of magic, to really test the Italians. "Because, I repeat, this season will be very difficult if we don't understand quickly the right way that we have to go".
Conte's men have also struggled in their Premier League title defence and find themselves fourth in the table and nine points adrift of the summit ahead of Sunday's crunch encounter against second-placed Manchester United. Hopefully we can improve on that'.
A draw in their next game against Atletico would see Eusebio Di Francesco's side through to the knockout round in his first season at the club he played for during his footballing career.
Speaking to BT Sport ahead of kick-off, Conte explained Kante felt he wasn't 100% ready to return to action in Italy, with the manager agreeing that playing him was not a risk worth taking ahead of the visit of Jose Mourinho's side this weekend.
But after going close a second time, El Shaarawy broke through again on 36 minutes following a long ball from Radja Nainggolan.
When Aleksandar Kolarov's hoofed ball from the left flank was nodded back a mite fortuitously by Edin Dzeko in Roma's opening foray, El Shaarawy was on to the loose ball in a flash to send his right-footed shot on the half-volley crashing past Thibaut Courtois.
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"I actually believe that in the first half we played a good match", he added.
He said: "It's hard to say what the problem is".
A fortnight ago the 18-year-old became the youngest goalkeeper to ever play in the competition - a historic night that ended in embarrassment after he misread a Marcus Rashford free-kick and carried it over the line.
Nicknamed "The Pharaoh", El Shaarawy has an Egyptian father and an Italian mother.
The visitors had two more opportunities before the break from Marcos Alonso and Tiemoue Bakayoko after the hosts had already pulled clear.
It was a positive switch which meant Pedro moved to right wing-back and Azpilicueta shifted into the back three.
Bruno Cesar put the hosts in front but Gonzalo Higuain equalised after 78 minutes and Juventus remain three points behind the Catalans.