Cristian Volpato shot Roma into the top four of Serie A on Monday with a late strike and assist in a 3-1 win at Verona which moved his team above Lazio a week before the Rome derby.
Jose Mourinho’s team were level heading into the final two minutes at the Stadio Bentegodi but 18-year-old Volpato met Nemanja Matic’s low cross with a perfect first-time finish to put the away side ahead.
Australia-born Volpato then ensured Roma would take three points when he slid in Stephan El Shaarawy to net a third in stoppage-time with a perfect through ball.
“The manager called me up, I hadn’t even warmed up or anything. I’m really happy to have come, score and change the match,” said a delighted Volpato after his first appearance of the campaign.
Roma are a point ahead of Lazio and Inter Milan in fourth place, with the clash against their local rivals, who will be without Ciro Immobile and suspended Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, coming up on Sunday.
Nicolo Zaniolo tapped Roma level in first-half stoppage time after Pawel Dawidowicz was sent off for the home side nine minutes before the break.
Dawidowicz was given a straight red card for a bad foul on Zaniolo nine minutes after he had rolled ahead the hosts, who stay in the relegation zone after their seventh defeat in a row.
Mourinho insisted that he was not interested in the Rome derby, a huge event in the Italian capital which traditionally occupies fans for weeks beforehand.
Roma need to beat Ludogorets on Thursday to make the knockout rounds of the Europa League.
“When a manager starts thinking about a particular match which isn’t the upcoming one, it doesn’t usually end well,” Mourinho told DAZN.
Later on Monday, Monza host Bologna in their first match since on-loan Arsenal defender Pablo Mari was stabbed in a knife attack at a supermarket just outside Milan.
Monza chief executive Adriano Galliani had asked for the match to be postponed but instead, Rafaelle Palladino’s team will play and wear a special shirt with the message “Come back soon Pablo”.
Mari was one of several people attacked in Assago by a man apparently suffering from psychological problems who killed an employee from the supermarket after grabbing a knife from a shelf.
Four other people were hurt by a 46-year-old Italian who was arrested by police, shortly after being disarmed by former Napoli and Inter defender Massimo Tarantino.
World Cup News
/ 2 weeks ago
A set of six jerseys that Lionel Messi wore during Argentina’s victorious 2022 World...
Saudi Arabia is prepared to host the 2034 World Cup in summer or winter,...
Saudi Arabia is in line to host the 2034 World Cup after FIFA announced...
Rights groups called for “binding commitments” from World Cup host nations after Australia opted...