Zaniolo speechless after breakthrough goal

Nicolo Zaniolo admitted he was beyond delighted to score his first-ever Serie A goal on Wednesday evening, as Roma beat Sassuolo 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Making his ninth league appearance for the Giallorossi, Zaniolo scored his first goal for the club to seal the game in the Italian capital – and what a goal it was, as the 19-year-old used his pace to drive into the opposition boss, before showing off his technique and poise to cut inside and float a nonchalant lob over the covering defenders.

“I don’t have the right words – I’m incredibly happy, not just because of the goal but because we needed a win like this right now,” Zaniolo said.

“Next up it is Parma, another game we absolutely need to win if we want to qualify for the Champions League.”

He added: “To score in Serie A has been my dream since I was a kid. I had a few chances in other games but unfortunately it didn’t come.

"I am always focused on training as best I can, being ready so I can do as well as I can out on the pitch – and then sooner or later the results will come from that.”

Zaniolo was asked if he saw comparisons between his goal and one scored by Francesco Totti against Sampdoria back in 2004.

“I don’t remember that one but for me to be able to talk to Francesco is an inspiration and a motivation – there’s so much I can work on,” the youngster said.

“I am pleased with this goal, but from tomorrow it’ll be back to work to make sure we are ready for the next game.”