AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho said he felt like a child when charging from his dugout to celebrate Stephan El Shaarawy’s last-gasp winner in a thrilling 2-1 victory over US Sassuolo, which put his side top of Serie A in his 1,000th match as a manager.
Italy international El Shaarawy struck with a sublime curling strike in the 91st minute, causing wild celebrations at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, with Mourinho running to join his joyous players in front of screaming supporters behind the goal.
“Today I wasn’t 58 years old, I felt like a 10, 12, 14-year-old, back when you begin to dream about a career in football. It was a child’s run,” Mourinho told broadcaster DAZN.
“During the week I lied to myself because I tried to convince myself that wasn’t a special match, but it was a special match... For the rest of my life I will remember that the match that took me to 1,000 was this one,” he said.
A breathless contest looked to be heading for a draw after Bryan Cristante’s 37th-minute opener was canceled out by Filip Djuricic just before the hour mark and both sides wasted a raft of chances.
Tammy Abraham and Hamed Traore hit the post for each team, but it was Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio who had to be at his best to stop gilt-edged opportunities presented to Domenico Berardi and Jeremie Boga as Sassuolo pushed for a win.
However, with the seconds ticking away, El Shaarawy crashed in his shot from the edge of the area off the post to put Roma top, level on a perfect nine points with AC Milan and SSC Napoli.
AC Milan are level with Roma thanks to a 2-0 win over SS Lazio which came through goals from Rafael Leao and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored seven minutes after making his comeback as a second-half substitute.
The Swedish star, who turns 40 in three weeks, rolled home the simplest of finishes from Ante Rebic’s low cross in the 67th minute to banish a knee injury he suffered at the end of last season, ensuring his second-placed team went two points ahead of reigning champions Inter Milan and Udinese.
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