Former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham’s career-best season culminated in yet another European trophy last night, his third personally in just 12 months (Champions League, Super Cup, and now this) Europa Conference League), as the 24-year-old striker helped AS Roma win their first continental title in some 60 years — albeit in a competition that’s never been held before this season.
Not that José “even Europa League is worthless” Mourinho cared, proudly making it all about himself at the final whistle and holding up five fingers for his five European titles, a modern coaching record (Giovanni Trapattoni won eight between 1962 and 1993), as he sunk to the ground, cried some crocodile tears, and declared eternal love for the Eternal City. It was the Serie A’s sixth best team against the Eredivisie’s third best ... but hey, trophies!
The final itself was, fittingly, peak Mourinho in terms of spoiling tactics and reliance on moments of magic at the other end, but it worked with Nicolò Zaniolo getting the Giallorossi on the board with their first shot of the game. And that would prove enough with Feyenoord failing to beat Rui Patricio in goal, despite having two-thirds of the possession and shots in the game.
Semi-snide cynicism aside, congrats to Tammy Abraham for a great first season at the club, and for keeping that £68m buyback clause warm. A career high 27 goals in all competitions is nothing to sneeze at, and as last night’s final proved, he’s now well versed in a bit of the dark arts as well.