Tammy Abraham struck twice as Roma ran out 4-1 winners at fancied Atalanta on Saturday, in the biggest win for Jose Mourinho since returning to Serie A.
English striker Abraham opened the scoring with less than a minute on the clock at the Gewiss Stadium and rounded off the match late on as Roma closed the gap between them and the Champions League places to five points.
“What a win, what else can I say? A lot of people doubted us today but this is by far one of the best wins we’ve had this season,” said Abraham to DAZN.
“We needed to win and what a win.”
Nicolo Zaniolo and Abraham’s countryman Chris Smalling also netted in an impressive win, their first against one of Italy’s top teams this season, which took them fifth and dented third-place Atalanta’s burgeoning title hopes.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side sit third, six points behind champions and league leaders Inter Milan who crushed Salernitana 5-0 on Friday.
They will drop to fourth if Napoli win at fellow title-chasers AC Milan on Sunday following a defeat in which they dominated proceedings for large spells but were punished by Roma who were clinical in a classic Mourinho style.
Roma’s goals came from five shots on target after having less than 30 percent possession and no corners.
“There was a great spirit. It’s clear that playing against Atalanta you can never be in control of the match for 90 minutes… the team was great in every department today,” said Mourinho, who won the treble with Inter in 2010.
“I think Inter are on another level to everyone else but to beat the top teams like Milan, Napoli and Atalanta you can’t just have good organisation or tactics, you need a certain type of character which we had today.”