Tammy Abraham at the double as Roma thrash Atalanta

Former Chelsea attacker helps Mourinho's side earn victory at Gewiss Stadium

Tamm Abraham scored twice for AS Roma as Jose Mouinrho's team thrashed Atalanta 4-1 in Serie A on Saturday.

Former Chelsea striker Abraham opened the scoring with less than a minute on the clock at the Gewiss Stadium and rounded off the match late on as Roma closed the gap on the top four to five points.

Nicolo Zaniolo had made it 2-0 just before the half-hour mark while an own goal from Bryan Cristante in first-half injury time had given the hosts some hope. But former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling made it three with 18 minutes left and Abraham rounded off proceedings in the 82nd minute with his second.

“What a win, what else can I say? A lot of people doubted us today but this is by far one of the best wins we've had this season,” said Abraham to DAZN. “We needed to win and what a win.”

It was their first win against one of Italy's top teams this season, which took them fifth and dented third-place Atalanta's burgeoning title hopes. Gian Piero Gasperini's side sit third, six points behind champions and league leaders Inter Milan who crushed Salernitana 5-0 on Friday.

They will drop to fourth if Napoli win at fellow title-chasers AC Milan on Sunday following a defeat in which they dominated proceedings for large spells but were punished by Roma who were clinical in classic Mourinho style.

Roma sealed victory despite managing just five shots on target, having less than 30 per cent possession and winning no corners.

“There was a great spirit. It's clear that playing against Atalanta you can never be in control of the match for 90 minutes … the team was great in every department today,” said Mourinho, who won the treble with Inter in 2010.

“I think Inter are on another level to everyone else but to beat the top teams like Milan, Napoli and Atalanta you can't just have good organisation or tactics, you need a certain type of character which we had today.”

Home fans thought they were set to witness a grandstand finish in the 68th minute when Duvan Zapata's flick was touched home but Jose Luis Palomino was ruled offside by VAR after challenging for the ball with Cristante.

The decision infuriated Gasperini who raged that the referee told him a Palomino goal had been ruled out even though the Argentine had not, in fact, touched the ball.

“If Palomino didn't touch the ball, then why is it offside? If Cristante got the ball, then what difference does it make?” he said. “We would then have been level with 20 minutes to go, it's a very different game.”

Updated: December 18th 2021, 5:17 PM