Jose Mourinho said he felt like a child when he dashed from his bench to celebrate Stephan El Shaarawy’s last-gasp goal in a thrilling 2-1 win against Sassuolo, which propelled his club to the top of Serie A in his 1,000th match as a manager.
El Shaarawy, an Italy international, scored a fantastic curling goal in the 91st minute, causing wild celebrations at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, with Mourinho sprinting to join his ecstatic players in front of shouting fans behind the goal.
“I didn’t feel like a 58-year-old today; instead, I felt like a 10-, 12-, or 14-year-old, back when you first start dreaming about a football career. It was a kid’s race “Mourinho spoke to DAZN about it.
“Throughout the week, I told myself that it wasn’t a special match, but it was… This is the match that brought me to 1,000 points for the rest of my life.”
After Bryan Cristante’s 37th-minute opener was cancelled out by Filip Djuricic just before the hour mark, and both sides missed a slew of chances, the game appeared to be heading for a draw.
As Sassuolo battled for a win, Tammy Abraham and Hamed Traore both struck the post for their respective teams, but Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio had to be at his best to stop gilt-edged opportunities provided to Domenico Berardi and Jeremie Boga.
With seconds remaining, El Shaarawy hit the post with a shot from the edge of the box to put Roma in front, level on nine points with AC Milan and Napoli.
To the delight of the home crowd, Gianluca Scamacca’s spectacular effort was disallowed for offside just after the winner.
“It could have ended in a 6-6, 7-7 draw, or they could have won 2-1 like we did,” Mourinho added.