Roma became the first winners of the Europa Conference League after beating Feyenoord 1-0 and ensuring Jose Mourinho remains unbeaten in major European finals.

 

Mourinho had his fingerprints all over the Roma performance as his side defended heroically for large parts and got their winning goal with their first shot on goal when Nicolo Zaniolo skilfully prodded home after 32 minutes.

 

Roma, whose only previous continental title was the old Fairs Cup in 1961, held off a spirited comeback from their Dutch opponents, who were twice denied by the woodwork in the second half. They ensured that Mourinho became the first manager to win a European trophy with four different clubs and took his overall tally to five major European trophies.

Jose Mourinho maintained his 100 per cent record in major European finals

The Dutch side, who last won the UEFA Cup in 2002, dominated the early possession but failed to create any meaningful chances and were punished when Zaniolo chested down a cross from Roger Ibanez and put his side in front.

 

Player ratings

Roma: Rui Patricio (8), Mancini (7), Smalling (9), Ibanez (8), Karsdorp (7), Cristante (7), Mkhitaryan (6), Pellegrini (7), Zalewski (7), Zaniolo (8), Abraham (8)

Subs: Oliveira (7), Spinazzola (7), Viña (6)

Feyenoord: Bijlow (6), Geertruida (6), Trauner (5), Senes (6), Malacia (6), Aursnes (6), Orkun Kökçü (7), Til (6), Nelson (6), Dessers (5), Sinisterra (6)

Subs: Linssen (6), Toornstra (6), Pedersen (7)

Man of the match: Chris Smalling

 

Feyenoord ended the half with their first real chances from Orkun Kokcu and Cyriel Dessers but it was routine work for former Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

Roma’s Tammy Abraham, left, challenges for the ball with Feyenoord’s Marcos Senesi

Feyenoord maintained their momentum at the start of the second half and almost levelled when Roma defender Gianluca Mancini deflected a short corner onto his own post before Rui Patricio saved well.

The impressive Smalling blocked a drive from Kokcu on the edge of the box then was in the right place again to stop a drive from Dessers as the minutes ticked by.

Lorenzo Pellegrini almost made it two for Roma before Feyenoord spurned a golden opportunity to level in injury time when Bryan Linssen missed a sitter from close range.

 

As the whistle blew in Tirana, Mourinho celebrated by raising five fingers to the sky in homage to his European conquests.

 

 

 

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