July 25, 2024

Roma defeats struggling Verona to start the post-Mourinho era

At an emotional Stadio Olimpico, Daniele De Rossi’s boyhood team defeated struggling Verona 2-1 to start his winning career at Roma, marking his successful first game as Jose Mourinho’s successor.

After De Rossi took over on Tuesday, Roma, who are seventh in Serie A, defeated Verona thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Lorenzo Pellegrini in the first half. It was a close victory for the new manager.

After Mourinho was abruptly fired, Juventus signed former midfielder De Rossi, an enormous fan favorite who spent nearly two decades playing for the team.

It has been a true delight to return. I always felt the love of the fans when I went to games as a fan or just strolled about Rome, De Rossi told DAZN.

“There’s a lot of emotions at play, but there’s also a lot of tension because I have work to do.”

Roma moved to within two points of the Champions League spots by taking advantage of fourth-place Fiorentina’s absence from a league match this weekend owing to their Italian Super Cup commitments in Saudi Arabia.

With their 12th loss in 21 games, Verona, who have severe financial difficulties and have let go of seven players this month, are currently narrowly outside the relegation zone.

But Roma were not without a fight, as in the 76th minute, Michael Folorunsho equalized with a well-struck drive that Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio ought to have saved.

Prior to the game, Folorunsho, a Lazio supporter who was born in Rome, had a goal disallowed for what appeared to be a soft foul, and shortly after the hour, Milan Djuric, a striker for Verona, blasted a penalty kick over the crossbar.

Mourinho tributes:

Despite Roma’s dismal record, which saw them drop to ninth place before Saturday’s game, a sizable number of the team’s supporters remain incensed about Mourinho’s dismissal. In Rome, signs have been put up demanding that the club’s American billionaire owner, Dan Friedkin, sell the team.

When De Rossi returned, the players were met with jeers and whistles as they warmed up before the game, further adding to the animosity.

Banners hung from the stands praised Mourinho, who is still regarded as a hero by the city of Rome’s success-starved supporters, for winning the Europa Conference League in 2022 and making it to the Europa League final the previous year.

Mourinho would enjoy “eternal glory,” according to one, while another just stated, “It was a pleasure having you on our side.” I’m grateful, Jose.

Just before kickoff and following a hard-fought victory that demonstrated the severity of the mission he has taken on, De Rossi’s name echoed around the stadium.

However, putting in such effort against a side that was in significant difficulties also resulted in a few jeers and whistles as the players went up to the supporters following the final whistle.

De Rossi continued, “People would have probably been happier at the end of the game if we had played better in the second half.”

“But we prevailed, earning three points, and we ought to rejoice in our successes and rekindle our passion.”

AC Milan will play Udinese later on Saturday in an attempt to close the nine-point deficit between them and league leaders Inter Milan.


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