Jose Mourinho hailed Tammy Abraham an “important player” after the forward assisted twice in Roma’s 3-1 defeat of Fiorentina.
Henrik Mkhitarayan’s opener was cancelled out by Nikola Milenkovic but a Jordan Veretout brace secured three points for Mourinho on his return to Serie A.
Abraham benefited from VAR twice for his two assists, first rolling in Mkhitaryan before offloading for Veretout to convert his first.
The former Chelsea forward, who only managed one assist in his final 42 league games with the Blues, was preferred ahead of Eldor Shomurdouv but was replaced with just over 20 minutes left.
“It’s not easy to leave someone on the bench, but [Eldour] Shomurodov can play on the left, he can be a forward with Tammy [Abraham] as well,” Mourinho told DAZN post-match.
“At this moment, neither of them are in the same condition as the players who worked in pre-season training from the first day, so I figured to use [Lorenzo] Pellegrini behind.
“He is an important player, with the space that was there I thought it was Abraham’s game.
“Shomurodov is very dangerous attacking the space, Tammy is more of a reference point, so even if he wasn’t tired at that stage, I would’ve made the substitution a few minutes later anyway.
“We have many different solutions, but at this moment what I like is the spirit, the defensive organisation is getting there, but Fiorentina made it very, very difficult for us.”
5 – Prior to Henrikh #Mkhitaryan, the last AS Roma midfielder to have scored in five or more consecutive Serie A games was Erik Lamela, in November 2012 (6). Fury.#SerieATIM #RomaFiorentina pic.twitter.com/iHROQ2ANzR
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) August 22, 2021
With Sunday’s victory, Mourinho becomes the fastest manager to reach 50 Serie A wins (77 games) in the three points for a win era (since 1994-95).
The former Manchester United manager is also the fastest to reach such a mark in the Premier League (63 games) and LaLiga (62 games).
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