El Shaarawy driven by latest Italy omission

Forward Stephan El Shaarawy admitted he hoped his brace sent a message to Italy coach Roberto Mancini, after he helped Roma to a 4-1 win over Sampdoria on Sunday afternoon.

El Shaarawy put the visitors to the sword in the final 20 minutes, first of all beating Emil Audero with a sumptuous lofted shot from the edge of the box before rounding off the scoring in injury time with a clinical close-range finish.

Speaking after the game, El Shaarawy admitted he had been stung by once again being left out of the Italy squad – and wanted to make a statement with his display.

“Yes, I think the pitch is always the place to do your talking,” El Shaarawy said. “I was disappointed not to be called up. I need to keep performing well and scoring goals.”

Despite that, he acknowledged that he can still improve his performance for the Giallorossi.

He added: “I need to be a bit more consistent, it’s true, even during the same game. I need to have conviction and courage – and keep putting in performances like this, with or without the goals coming as well.

“Winning battles is always important and perhaps I’ve had room for improvement there: today I was always trying to win them and you saw the results. It’s something positive.

"The coach always asks me to be focused, to go out to win the ball and then create something with my teammates. I need to maintain that sort of level."