Roma end 60-year wait as Zaniolo seals the crown of the Europa Conference League | Europa Conference League

Nicolo Zaniolo’s goal gave Roma their first major European title in more than 60 years after a 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the Europa Conference League final in Albania, completing a unique European trophy collection for Jose Mourinho.

The Roma coach, who has also won the Champions League, Europa League and Uefa Cup, can now add the third division European title – the Italian club’s first trophy in 14 years – to his medal tally.

The 22-year-old Zaniolo won the victory of Roma with a specialist finish in the 32nd minute, as he became the first Italian to score in a European final after Filippo Inzaghi against Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League.

Roma, whose only previous continental title was the Fairs Cup in 1961, kept a dynamic comeback from their Dutch opponents, who twice refused carpentry in the second half, and ensured that Mourinho would become the first coach to do so. won a European trophy with four different clubs.

“Winning is very difficult. “You need a lot of ingredients,” Mourinho told a post-match press conference. “Our team has played 55 games. We reached the final tired, but we worked on it, we kept it a secret. This is a fantastic team of players, which makes me emotional. We had a hard time in the second half, our opponents played well and forced us to make defensive changes. “Congratulations to Feyenoord.”

Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini told Sky Sport Italia: “We are a real team, we have proved it. Now we have to celebrate and then start again, which is always difficult after a big win, but a real team wins, celebrates and starts again.

“I said yesterday that at the age of 25 I would never have imagined achieving this with the Roma jersey and the captain’s armband. It’s a wonderful moment. “

With both Roma and Feyenoord entering the competition having already secured Europa League football for next season through their places in the domestic league, it was all about glory in Tirana.

From an early stage, it looked as if there would be only one winner, as Roma dominated, without disturbing Feyenoord goalkeeper Justin Bylow, who was playing his first game since March 10.

One chance was all they needed to keep the lead in between, with Zaniolo scoring the ball well before scoring his first goal in all competitions after a hat-trick in the quarter-final against Bodo / Glimt.

Zaniolo also became the youngest Italian to score in a major European final after Alessandro Del Piero against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in May 1997.

Nicolo Zaniolo (left) celebrates with Gianluca Mancini after scoring the opening goal for Roma against Feyenoord. Photo: Fabio Rossi / AS Roma / Getty Images

Feyenoord, aiming to become the first Dutch team to win a European competition in 20 years since its triumph in the Uefa Cup in 2002, failed to really test Rui Patricio in Roma’s first-half goal.

However, the second half started brilliantly, with Roma’s Gianluca Mancini deflecting Feyenoord’s early corner into his own crossbar.

The Dutch team kept coming and hitting the wood again as Tyrell Malacia’s wonderful shot from almost 30 yards was placed on the crossbar by Patrício.

Further opportunities came and went, but a few recent blocks and a wasteful finish ensured Roma’s long wait for a European trophy to end in Mourinho’s first season in the Italian capital.

Former Manchester United center-back Chris Smalling told BT Sport: “We knew how much it would mean for everyone in Rome and you can see how much we are together, everyone fought to the end.

“We had to do this on some occasions this year, we fell a little deeper than we wanted to, but we knew we had to do everything. “You could see attackers running backwards, everyone defending and we knew we had to win.”

Tammy Abraham, the former Chelsea striker, said that Roma “deserved” their victory. “One thing I said when I came here was that I would help the team reach the final and one day I want to win a trophy. “I achieved this in my first season,” he told BT Sport.

“Praise to my teammates, great performances. We deserve it. We have worked hard all year. I love them [the fans]. From the first day I came here it was the best. We are champions, I am happy to be a member of the team, now is the time to celebrate and enjoy “.

There were violent clashes in Tirana between fans of both clubs before the final and dozens were deported back to Italy.

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

Inside the stadium, flares were thrown at the stadium and the referees removed some fans before the start after an apparent battle on the side where the Dutch fans were sitting.

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