Jose Mourinho won another European title as his Roma side edged out Feyenoord in the first-ever UEFA Conference League final.
A single goal from Nicolo Zaniolo in the 32nd minute proved enough for Mourinho’s stoic side to secure their place in European club football history.
Mourinho was defeated in stride of victory as he and his team celebrated with all the enthusiasm they deserved.
It was a typical Mourinho victory with Roma sitting deep and relentlessly absorbing Feyenoord’s pressure as the minutes went by.
However, while Mourinho may have orchestrated the tactic, it was Chris Smalling who executed the vision on the pitch.
The former Manchester United star was imperious at the heart of Roma’s full-back as he stifled attack after attack.
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His reading of the game was superb as he is often one step ahead of opposing attackers.
Now his highlights have emerged and are making the rounds on Twitter with the Englishman sending a timely reminder of what he can do.
You can see the footage in the clip below.
Chris Smalling held an absolute masterclass for Roma in the #UECLfinal
A MOTM performance from one of Jose Mourinho’s defensive heroes 💪⛔️ pic.twitter.com/B0GTyn64gK
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2022
Chris ‘Smalldini’, indeed.
Smalling’s career seemed to have stalled as he fell out of favor at Manchester United, but it certainly looks like he’s starting to thrive under Mourinho’s tutelage.
With Tammy Abraham in the lead, Mourinho relies on his knowledge of the English game to restore Roma’s position as European giants.
However, while the Conference League is undoubtedly a historic moment, a sixth-place finish in Serie A is definitely something that needs improvement.
Roma finished 23 points behind eventual winners AC Milan after losing a rather mediocre 11 games during the season.