“Finals are not for playing, they are for winning.” Jose Mourinho has never hidden the idea of title-giving games, expressed, for example, after the 2005 or 2015 Premier League Cup finals. Now, to lift his first trophy since 2017, the Portuguese coach has been completely loyal to his conviction.
Not much was played in Tirana, in Albania’s first-ever European final, but a lone goal from Niccolo Zaniolo allowed Roma to defeat (1-0) Feyenoord, in the opening edition of the Conference League. In a final, being very closed with little action near the goals, it was entirely possible that according to what Mourinho planned, the Portuguese coach made history by joining the new UEFA competition to the Champions League (conquered by Porto and Inter) and the Cup UEFA/European League (it was won in the old version by FC Porto and in the new version by Manchester United), in a unique continental treble.
Rui Patricio’s performance contributed significantly to the Italian capital’s first international title since 1960/61, then with the Fair Cities Cup. At the beginning of the second half, the goalkeeper stopped Feyenoord’s reaction with two excellent defenses that sent the Conference League to the side. gyaluroso. After a difficult season, with some compromising mistakes and losing the title in the national team, Patricio secured a prominent place in one of the biggest Italian clubs, which has not won anything since 2007/08 (at that time with the Coppa Italia).
If the entire match was marked by a dearth of scoring opportunities, the first 30 minutes were an exaggeration in that scenario, with no shots in line with the goals. The most relevant part of that first half hour was the injury to Mkhitaryan, which gave way to Sergio Oliveira.
As if written by Jose Mourinho, the date of the final dictated that nothing happened until Roma scored a goal. When the match was a desert of dangerous actions, the score was 1-0 for the Italians, which equaled the Portuguese’s desire to “not play, but win”.
At 32′, Gianluca Mancini’s shot was poorly measured by Trauner, and it reached Zaniolo. The Italian, who was once entrusted with the responsibility of succeeding Totti but suffered a severe blow due to injuries, He controls it and shoots at the only target discord. In the stands, Totti, the last Roman emperor who had never lived such European glories, applauded, smiling.
As in the 2004 and 2010 Champions League finals and in the 2017 Europa League, the break came with Jose Mourinho’s side winning 1-0, although in addition to Zaniolo’s goal, the only two shots scored were from Feyenoord. Both hits were defended with relative ease by Rui Patricio, who would start the complementary phase with more complex tasks.
In the first minutes of the second half, after a short corner kick from the right, a cross led to Mancini diverting the ball towards his post. After this move, a diagonal defense by Rui Patricio cleared the goal from Guus Til.
Soon, after a move from the left, Tyrrell Malacia’s shot appeared to have the goal seal. Agile, Rui Patricio flew to deflect the left-back’s shot towards the goal, preventing the equaliser.
Until the end, Feyenoord no longer created much danger. There, in this double defense of the Portuguese, was the key to victory.
In addition to Zaniolo’s goal, Roma came relatively close to scoring in the 72nd minute, when Bigelow saved Veretot’s shot. The Italians quickly seized the opportunity to block the lanes for their goal, rounding up the men in front of their goal. The Dutch were putting more and more people up front, but they didn’t have the precision, creativity or strength to discuss the outcome in the last part.
The Serie A team has not lifted a European Cup since 2010, only when Inter Mourinho won the Champions League in Madrid against Bayern. There are already 26 trophies for the Portuguese coach, who in the end did not hide his emotions, tearing and embracing the assistants and players.
As soon as the final whistle blew, in the belief of “win not play”, Jose Mourinho turned his open hand to the bench, in symbol of the few European titles – at the service of four different clubs – that he is now adding. 19 years after the Seville final for FC Porto, mo Continue to win in Europe, a Alex Ferguson’s time span exceeded by only 25 years. The first edition of the Conference League bears the name of one of the most winning coaches in its history.