A solitary goal from Gianluca Mancini was enough to win the defender Serie A Player of the Week on Matchday 25 of the 2022/23 campaign and take AS Roma to victory over Juventus on Sunday night, whilst also lifting the Romans into the Champions League qualification places.
After the 1-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico, the Giallorossi moved ahead of reigning champions AC Milan into fourth position in the standings, although one point behind bitter Derby della Capitale rivals Lazio, who they will face on Matchday 27.
Mancini the unlikely hero
Few watching on could believe their eyes when the 26-year-old strolled forward and unleashed a powerful long-range drive past Bianconeri goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny on 53 minutes. Not just because of the quality of the strike, but also as the ex-Atalanta player had not scored a Serie A goal in 728 games.
The goal was also the first Juventus had conceded from outside of the box since May 2022 and meant that Roma had achieved a domestic double over the Old Lady of Italian football for the first time since the 2003/04 season. With a 15-point deduction for capital gains fraud, the Bianconeri hopes of qualifying for Europe’s premier club competition look all but over.
Contributor to Kean red card
With Juventus striking the woodwork three times during the game, pressure was building on the hosts when Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri threw Moise Kean into the action for the closing moments, but Mancini helped ensure the striker saw just 40 seconds of playing time.
The Italian international became the fastest substitute in Serie A history to be sent off – beating Giulio Migliaccio’s record from 2015 by eight seconds – when kicking out at the Roma defender, who had aggressively wrestled him to the ground and thrown a knee into his stomach for good measure. He received no punishment for his involvement in the tussle.