AS Roma vs Feyenoord Rotterdam – Football Match Report – 25th May 2022

AS Roma have won their first major European title in over 60 years. Nicolo Zaniolo’s first-half goal gave the Italians a 1-0 win over Feyenoord Rotterdam in the Europa Conference League final in Albania on Wednesday.

Zaniolo, 22, brought the ball home in the 32nd minute with a left-footed touch, having first knocked it off his chest, to make Roma the first winners of the new club competition in third tier of European football which was introduced this season. .

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Roma, whose only previous continental title was the old Fairs Cup in 1961, withstood a fiery comeback from their Dutch opponents, who were twice denied by the woodwork in the second half, and ensured that Jose Mourinho becomes the first coach to win a European Championship. trophy with four different clubs.

Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio made vital saves as Feyenoord took the game against the Italians, enjoying the lion’s share of possession but still looked vulnerable on the counterattack.

“Now we have to celebrate – a lot,” said Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini. “But then we have to keep going. A real team wins and then comes back even stronger than before.

“I said yesterday that I would never have imagined at 25 to achieve this with the Roma shirt and the captain’s armband. It’s a wonderful moment.”

Besides the few thousand Roma spectators inside the small national arena in Tirana, some 50,000 fans watched the match on giant screens at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. At the final whistle, Olimpico fans celebrated on the pitch waving banners and chanting the team’s songs

There were violent clashes in Tirana between fans of the two clubs before the final, and dozens were expelled to Italy.

Two separate groups of Dutch and Italian supporters clashed with police in the city on Tuesday, injuring 19 officers and five Albanian civilians. A police officer was injured in a knife attack, authorities said. Three Italian supporters and two Dutch supporters were also injured.

Inside the stadium, flares were thrown onto the pitch and the stewards removed some supporters before kick-off after an apparent scuffle on the side where the Dutch supporters were seated.

The situation seemed under control after kick-off.

Zaniolo’s goal started with a ball over center back Gianluca Mancini which Zaniolo controlled with his chest. Zaniolo then pushed the ball past goalkeeper Justin Bijlow with the toe of his boot.

“Superb. Let’s enjoy this moment,” said Zaniolo, before waving to the Roma supporters. “There are no words to describe it. That’s it for them.”

Zaniolo has often been called Italy’s most talented young player. But he has been held back by two serious knee injuries, one of which sidelined him all last season and kept him out of the Azzurri’s run for the European title.

At 22 years and 327 days, Zaniolo became the youngest Italian player to score in a European final since Alessandro Del Piero’s goal at 22 years and 200 days for Juventus in a loss to Borussia Dortmund in the European final. the 1997 Champions League.

An attacking midfielder, Zaniolo has produced five goals and three assists in 10 Conference League games.

After Zaniolo’s goal, Mourinho – realizing how much time was left – motioned to his excited bench players to sit down and calm down.

Feyenoord came out full of energy after the break and quickly hit the post twice, first with a close-range effort from Gernot Trauner and then with a long-range blast from Tyrell Malacia which Patricio pushed back from the upright.

Mourinho extended his perfect European finals record to five trophies in five appearances, having also won the 2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 Champions League finals with Porto; the 2010 Champions League final with Internazionale; and the 2017 Europa League final with Manchester United.

At the final whistle, Mourinho held up five fingers to signify his five European titles as he jumped for joy.

It was a typical Mourinho game: taking the lead early and then defending, defending, defending.

“We know that when we take the lead we are excellent in defense,” Mancini said. “In matches like these, you have to defend until the last second.”

Roma had lost their two previous continental finals, beating domestic rivals Inter in the 1991 UEFA Cup and dropping a penalty shootout to Liverpool in the 1984 European Cup final at their home stadium .

“It’s really a prize for the Friedkins, who have given a new identity to this club,” said Roma sporting director Tiago Pinto, referring to the club’s American owners. “It will certainly not be the only trophy.”

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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