Cristian Volpato of AS Roma celebrates after scoring. Alamy Stock Photo
hot prospect

Australian teenager stars as Jose Mourinho's Roma prevail

Cristian Volpato shot his side into the top four of Serie A with a late strike and assist in a 3-1 win at Verona.

Updated at 21.51

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 in, scored, and changed 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 that 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 lost 2-1 to 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 agreed to play and wore a special shirt with the message “Come back soon Pablo”.

Forward Andrea Petagna opened the scoring for the promoted hosts before Scotland midfielder Lewis Ferguson and winger Riccardo Orsolini responded for Bologna, who claimed their third league win of the season, inside the final half an hour.

– © AFP 2022

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