Roma Defeat Feyenoord To Win Inaugural Europa Conference League

Nicolo Zaniolo won Roma their first ever major European trophy on Wednesday with the only goal in a 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the inaugural Europa Conference League final.

Italy international Zaniolo struck with a well-taken finish in the 32nd minute to earn Roma their first trophy of any kind since 2008 and cap a successful first season for coach Jose Mourinho in Rome.

Mourinho was moved to tears by his fifth continental cup as a coach, the first for an Italian team since he led Inter Milan to the Champions League 12 years ago.

This win continued the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager’s perfect record in European finals, having now overseen five wins in five finals.

“This is a competition we believed we could win since the start,” Mourinho Sky Sport Italia.

“I knew the moment I arrived what it meant to the people. They had been waiting for something like this. This was not work tonight, this was history. We had to write history. We wrote it.”

Zaniolo broke the deadlock with the only real moment of magic in what was a tight, scrappy opening half.

He expertly brought down Gianluca Mancini‘s ball over the top that just escaped Gernot Trauner before flicking a finish past the onrushing Justin Bijlow.

The goal made Zaniolo the first Italian to score in a European final since Filippo Inzaghi in 2007 as well as a confirmed hero for Roma fans.

Feyenoord had dominated the ball, creating nothing of interest, but that changed almost immediately after the restart.

Trauner diverted a low cross off the post and seconds later Rui Patricio made his first real save of the match, the Portuguese reacting well to push Guus Til’s shot away.

And the 34-year-old was called into action again four minutes after the break, flinging himself to his left to just tip Tyrell Malacia’s rocket of a shot onto the woodwork.

Almost straight after Tammy Abraham had his hands in the air in disbelief when he was pulled back by Marcos Senesi just as he was charging through on goal, but Feyenoord were clearly on top.

The Dutch side continued to push but a spirited defensive display typical of Mourinho’s teams held them off and handed Roma a rare moment of glory.