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Chris Smalling gives Roma their second win of two against newboys Cremonese to move up to third place
Roma 1-0 Cremonese: Chris Smalling’s header brings new Serie A boys to two wins out of two for Jose Mourinho’s side as they climb to third place
- Roma defeated Cremonese 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico to finish third in the Serie A table
- The hosts managed to get 12 shots on target in the game against Cremonese’s three
- Former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling then scored on 65 minutes
- The centre-back converted from a Lorenzo Pellegrini cross to secure the win
- Jose Mourinho’s Europa Conference champions have now won both of their matches
- Roma have now also won each of their last four games against Cremonese
Chris Smalling’s header in the 65th minute gave Roma a 1-0 win over Cremonese at the Stadio Olimpico and gave the Giallorossi their second win of two in the 2022-23 Serie A season.
The former Fulham and Manchester United defender converted from a Lorenzo Pellegrini ball to the back post to give the Romans their fourth straight win over Cremonese as they jump over frogs like AC Milan, Atalanta and Lazio to finish third in the table.
The win also makes Jose Mourinho only the third Roma manager since the introduction of the three-point win to record consecutive opening wins in successive seasons, after Luciano Spalletti and Rudi Garcia.
Chris Smallling’s header in the 65th minute gave Roma a 1-0 victory over Cremonese
The English central defender headed home via a cross from Lorenzo Pellegrini through the back post
Jose Mourinho Roma’s third manager to win both opening games in consecutive seasons
The home side were warmed up in shirts referring to new signing Georginio Wijnaldum’s leg injury, which will keep him out for several months as Mourinho chose the same side that defeated Salernitana 1-0 in their opening game.
Roma’s players wore white t-shirts that read “Stay strong Gini” in support of Wijnaldum during the pre-match warm-up, and Smalling lifted a shirt dedicated to the Dutch midfielder after his header goal.
Roma proved to be poisonous in the counter-attack against the newly promoted side, and goalkeeper Ionut Radu, who was hired from Inter, was called up to make a number of key saves to keep the squads up to scratch early on.
And the Giallorossi took the first real blow after Nicolo Zaniolo was taken off the pitch before half-time following lengthy treatment on the pitch, which is believed to be a dislocated shoulder.
Smalling celebrated his goal with a shirt dedicated to new signing Georginio Wijnaldum, who is out for several months after a serious leg injury
But Roma fans will have since allayed their worst fears after the Italian star took to Instagram to share an early prognosis with his followers, after writing: ‘For those who were hoping it was something bad… see you. in three weeks ‘
And the visitors almost broke through after the restart, with Rui Patricio knocked out as Cyriel Dessers striker came off the woodwork before Smalling’s opener just after the hour.
The visitors nearly took a run in the closing seconds of the game when Charles Pickel’s magnificent volley hit the crossbar, but the Europa Conference League champions had plenty to hold on to.
The three points give the Giallorossi their fourth consecutive victory over their opponents