By Mukwuzi Joseph
Record-breaking Tammy Abraham warmed up nicely for the Europa Conference League final by scoring twice for Roma in a 3-0 win at Torino in Serie A on Friday.
Abraham’s first-half double took his league tally to 17 and saw him take over as the highest scoring English player, eclipsing the 16 goals Gerry Hitchens scored for Inter Milan in 1961-62.
Roma plays Dutch side Feyenoord in the final of the Europa Conference League on Wednesday.
“I would’ve loved to get three to score a hat-trick for my team, but the most important thing is we won,” said Abraham, who took his tally in all competitions to 26 after moving from Premier League side Chelsea to Italy last summer.
“We wanted to finish the season well. It’s been a long hard season and fair play to all my teammates, we’ve done well. Now we’ve got a final to look forward to and we’re all excited.
“As I’ve always said, I fell in love with this club from the first day. It’s been a good year for me. I’d like to build on this year and hopefully, we can finish with a trophy and this would just be the perfect year.”
It was Roma’s first Serie A win in more than a month and ensured Jose Mourinho’s team finished at least sixth, securing a spot in next year’s Europa League regardless of what the teams below it manage on Saturday.
Both Abraham’s goals came following Torino’s defensive errors.
For the opener in the 33rd minute, the home side gave the ball away in its own half and Lorenzo Pellegrini found Abraham, who turned Torino defender David Zima inside out before riding a tackle and firing into the bottom right corner.
Roma doubled their lead when Torino defender Ricardo Ivan Rodriguez played an awful back pass that resulted in goalkeeper Etrit Berisha tripping Abraham. The striker struck the resulting penalty coolly down the middle three minutes before half-time.
Substitute Nicolo Zaniolo was barged over by Alessandro Buongiorno in the second half, leaving Pellegrini to slot home the penalty and complete the scoring.