Tammy Abraham received STANDING OVATION
Tammy Abraham received STANDING OVATION for superb Roma debut as former Chelsea striker assists two and gets Fiorentina keeper sent-off in 3-1 victory… as Jose Mourinho gets up-and-running again in Italy
Roma’s Premier League poaching paid off on the opening day of the Serie A season, as Tammy Abraham set up two goals to drive Jose Mourinho’s men to victory.
The Portuguese coach started his £34m signing for the pair’s league debut against Fiorentina, and locals were so impressed they gave the former Chelsea striker a standing ovation as he was substituted.
Both clubs finished with 10-men in a frantic match, with Abraham getting Bartlomiej Dragowski sent off as well as assisting Henrik Mkhitaryan and half of Jordan Veretout’s brace.
Dragowski was given a straight red card for a foul on Abraham in the 17th minute, much to the bewilderment of the visitors’ coach Vincenzo Italiano.
Roma made the numerical advantage count in the Stadio Olimpico when the striker’s feints made space to play Mkhitaryan in, with the former Manchester United man breaking the deadlock in the 26th minute after a VAR check.
The tide turned in the second half when Nicolo Zaniolo, starting his first Serie A match in more than a year following a long injury layoff, received his second yellow card and was dismissed just after the break before Nikola Milenkovic levelled on the hour mark.
With the numbers evened up, Roma stepped up a gear, with Mkhitaryan squaring for Veretout to restore the hosts’ lead before the Frenchman made it 3-1 11 minutes from time.
‘The referee got every decision right,’ Mourinho told DAZN. ‘VAR is there to spot every tiny error, which can at times be decisive in games.
‘We have many different solutions but at this moment what I like is the spirit of the team; the defensive organisation is getting there.
‘Fiorentina made it very, very difficult for us. Italiano deserves a lot of credit because he has his team playing very, very well so early into the season.’
In Sunday’s other late kick-off, goals from Lorenzo Insigne and Eljif Elmas gave Napoli a 2-0 win over Venezia in Naples, even though the home side had Victor Osimhen sent off in the first half.
Fiorentina were only level for four minutes however, Abraham scampering down the right flank to pick up Mkhitaryan’s through ball.
The England international slid a fine cross along the six-yard line that Mkhitaryan missed, allowing Jordan Veretout to score at the back stick.
After 68 minutes, the £34million signing from Chelsea was substituted to a rousing reception from the Olimpico faithful.
And Veretout guaranteed the points with his second of the game ten minutes from time.
It meant a second win in Mourinho’s first two games in charge of Roma, having beaten Turkish side Trabzonspor in the Europa Conference League play-off round on Thursday.
Sunday’s victory came against the backdrop of strong starts for the Giallorossi’s rivals on the opening weekend of Serie A.
Inter Milan, Lazio, Napoli and Atalanta all won – although Cristiano Ronaldo’s late winner for Juventus was ruled out by VAR.