Rome [Italy], May 26 (ANI): Nicolo Zaniolo made the difference as Roma clinched their first major UEFA club competition title by winning the 2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League on Wednesday.
Roma defeated a feisty Feyenoord side in Tirana to claim the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League title and become the first Italian team to win a European club competition since 2009/10, with Jose Mourinho becoming the first coach to win all three current men’s UEFA club trophies.
It was a cagey opening in Tirana, as both sides cautiously probed and looked to test their opponents’ mettle. The National Arena was bouncing, as over 21,000 supporters filled the stadium for the competition’s climax, Feyenoord’s Legioen inspiring their side from the north stand as their Italian counterparts bellowed from the south.
Roma made the first meaningful advance, but Nicolo Zaniolo’s outstretched leg was a whisker away from a cute Lorenzo Pellegrini through ball. However, not long after, the forward took his chance, this time latching on to Gianluca Mancini’s delivery, bringing it under control, and clipping over Justin Bijlow to break the deadlock.
In a rapid start to the second half, Mancini diverted onto his own post, before Rui Patricio sprawled to tip Tyrell Malacia’s long-range effort onto the woodwork. Danger averted, Mourinho’s men could take a breath.
With the full-time whistle looming, Arne Slot ordered his charges forward. However, as Feyenoord piled on the pressure, a now compact Roma side dropped deep. Bryan Linssen had an opportunity at the death, but the Giallorossi had done enough to see out the final minutes.
Mourinho said beforehand that he wanted to write history – and he did, as his team captured the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League trophy and Roma’s first piece of silverware in 14 years. (ANI)