Jose Mourinho hails performance of former Man Utd star Chris Smalling during Roma win

Soccer Football - Europa Conference League - Group C - Zorya Luhansk v AS Roma - Slavutych Arena, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine - September 30, 2021 AS Roma's Chris Smalling after the match REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Chris Smalling has find game time hard to come by at Roma so far this season (Picture: Reuters)

Jose Mourinho has singled out the performance of Chris Smalling after the former Manchester United star scored, and helped Roma keep a clean sheet during their 3-0 win over Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk in the Europa Conference League.

Goals from Stephan El Shaarawy, Smalling and ex-Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham gave the Giallorossi all three points in Ukraine, as they continued their unbeaten start to the group stage campaign, following a 5-1 opening day win over Bulgarian team CSKA Sofia. 

Smalling missed the first four matches of the season after picking up an injury in training and has found it tough to break back into the starting XI since his return. 

But the 31-year-old was given his chance to impress after the England international was selected ahead of Italian defender Gianluca Mancini for the Group C match and added a second goal for his side with a header from a corner just after an hour.

Mourinho thought Smalling 'played well with a lot of communication.'

Mourinho praised Smalling’s performance (Picture: Getty)

Mourinho, who managed the former Fulham defender at Old Trafford, hailed his performance in both boxes.

‘Since he recovered he has always been available. Today, with Mancini’s absence, he could help out the defence,’ the Portuguese manager told a post-match press conference.

‘He played well with a lot of communication beyond scoring a goal which is always a nice bonus.’

Meanwhile Abraham, who left Stamford Bridge to join the Italian giants In the summer, scored his fourth goal of the season against Zorya with a well-placed finish into the corner of the net in the 67th minute.

Roma play host to Empoli on Sunday, as they look to improve on their current position of fourth in the Serie A table. 

MORE : Former Premier League referee threw boot at Jose Mourinho in furious dressing room bust-up

MORE : Peter Schmeichel hails Manchester United’s ‘progression’ under boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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