Chris Smalling revels in ‘how much Europa Conference League triumph means to Roma fans’ after man-of-the-match display – while overjoyed Tammy Abraham insists they ‘deserved win’ over Feyenoord
Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham were both revelling in Roma’s Europa Conference League triumph on Wednesday night with both Englishmen playing starring roles.
Ex-Manchester United centre back Smalling was the man-of-the-match as he secured a clean-sheet for the Italians, while Abraham – though largely stifled in Tirana against Feyenoord – was the club’s top scorer in the competition.
Yet with Roma winning their first UEFA European competition, the English pair were delighted post-match yet Smalling admitted Jose Mourinho’s side had to fight to claim the trophy.
Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham were both revelling in Roma’s Europa Conference triumph
Ex-Manchester United centre back Smalling was the man-of-the-match against Feyenoord
‘We knew how much it was going to mean to everybody in Rome, and you can see how together we are, everybody fought until the end,’ Smalling told BT Sport.
‘We had to do that on a few occasions this year (fighting hard), we dropped a bit deeper than we maybe wanted to but we knew we had to do everything. You could see, strikers running back, everybody defending and we knew we had to win.’
‘Even when I first came to the club it had been a long time since they won a trophy, you can hear the fans. We knew how much it was going to mean, you can see we’ve got some of the best fans.’
Abraham – who won the Champions League with Chelsea last year – insisted Roma deserved their victory on the night.
‘One thing I said when I came here was I was going to help the team get to the final and one day I want to win a trophy. In my first season I have achieved that,’ Abraham also told BT.
Smalling and Abraham both traded life in the Premier League for a new challenge in Italy
Abraham – who won the Champions League with Chelsea – insisted Roma deserved their win
‘Credit to my team-mates, excellent performances. We deserve it. We have worked hard all year.
‘I love them (the fans). From day one I came here it has been the best. We are champions, I am happy to be a part of the team, now it is time to celebrate and enjoy.’
Nicolo Zaniolo scored the game’s only goal, with a clever dinked finish in the first-half, for a historic win for the Italians.