Azmoun off the mark in Serie A, spearheads Roma’s dramatic win

Sardar Azmoun opened his account for AS Roma to help the Italian club come from behind in the stoppage time and beat Lecce 2-1 in Serie A.
The Iranian striker came off the bench with 17 minutes left on the clock at the Stadio Olimpico to bag the equalizer for Jose Mourinho’s men with a thumping header from near the penalty spot in the 91st minute, canceling out Pontus Almqvist’s 71st-minute opener for the visiting side.
This was a first club goal since April 8 for the Iranian international, who joined AS Roma on loan from German top-flight club Leverkusen in the summer but has seen his contribution in the new season limited to six cameo appearances.
Romelu Lukaku’s left-footed effort from the center of the box found the top corner in the fourth minute of added time as Roma salvaged the maximum points – bringing a sigh of relief for the Belgian, who had been denied from the spot by Lecce keeper Wladimiro Falcone early in the first half.
“We knew it was going to be difficult today, but we were focused until the end so as not to lose. We showed character, it’s the right reward for our hard work,” an ecstatic Azmoun told DAZN after the game.
“Scoring my first goal was an incredible moment. I’ve been waiting for this moment. I worked a lot to be ready tonight. I love this team and this city; my daughter was born here,” added the Iranian, who dedicated his first Serie A strike to “my parents and my wife.”
“We took the old philosophy that losing by one or 10 is the same,” Portuguese Mourinho told DAZN.
“In the first half the game could have been almost over for us, but in the end the team had put in the heart and responded to a very risky situation.
“These three points were really important for us, now we are closer to the others.”
A fifth victory in 11 league outings took the Giallorossi’s tally to 17 points for the season, leaving Mourinho’s side seventh in the table – four points adrift of the Champions League qualification zone.
Inter is on top with 28 points – thanks to Saturday’s 2-1 away victory over 10-man Atalanta – followed by Juventus, which walked away with a 1-0 win at Fiorentina on Sunday.
Milan is third on 22 points and fell further off the pace after a 1-0 setback against Udinese at San Siro, with Napoli overtaking Atalanta for the fourth spot after a 2-0 win at Salernitana.


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