Roma 1-0 Feyenoord: Zaniolo goal seals Europa Conference League trophy

Roma 1-0 Feyenoord: Zaniolo goal seals Europa Conference League trophy

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Jose Mourinho made it five European trophies as his side won Wednesday's final

Nicolo Zaniolo's goal was the difference as Roma beat Feyenoord 1-0 in Tirana on Wednesday to become the first-ever winners of the Europa Conference League. 

Zaniolo, who has had an excellent season following injury problems, struck in the 32nd minute to win the trophy for Jose Mourinho's side. 

The Italians become the inaugural winners of a competition that was only formed this season, while Mourinho becomes the first coach to win the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League treble. 

It's the fifth European trophy Mourinho has won in his career and the first since 2017. 

He won the Europa League and Champions League with Porto in 2003 and 2004, the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010 and the Europa League with Manchester United in 2017. 

“We knew how much this would mean to everyone in Rome and you can see how together we are,” Roma defender Chris Smalling told BT Sport. 

“We really fought to the end. We’ve had to do that on a few occasions this year. We dropped a bit deeper than we ideally wanted to but we had to give everything. You could see strikers running back, everybody fighting.

“When I first came to the club it had been a long time since they’d won a trophy and I mean... you can hear the fans, you probably can’t hear me. You can see how much it means. We’ve got some of the best fans.”

Feyenoord dominated possession in Albania and created more chances than Roma but the Serie A side's opportunities were clearer. 

The Dutch team were also lucky to keep 11 men on the pitch, with Marco Senesi let off the hook for a foul on Tammy Abraham, who perhaps paid the price for being too honest and staying on his feet. 

The game's winning goal was a moment of brilliance, though, with Zaniolo chesting down and then flicking the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper with the outside of the boot in the 32nd minute.

Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio made a fine save in the early stages of the second half, keeping out Guus Til after Gianluca Mancini had hit his own post. 

Feyenoord were full of spirit and continued to push forward in search of an equaliser in the second half but Roma held strong on a memorable night for the Italian club. 

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