MADRID (AP) — Prior to and throughout Monday’s close 1-0 victory against recently promoted Cremonese, Roma conveyed encouraging words to injured colleague Georginio Wijnaldum.
As they warmed up for the game, the Roma players wore shirts that read “Forza Gini” (“Stay strong Gini”). Chris Smalling also held up a Roma jersey carrying Wijnaldum’s name and number after scoring the game’s lone goal.
In a training session on Sunday, Wijnaldum, who joined on loan from Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month, broke his tibia.
Just before halftime, Nicol Zaniolo was stretchered off after seeming to dislocate his shoulder, dealing Roma another blow to their injury total.
Roma had already defeated Salernitana 1-0 in the season’s opening match, and this was their second triumph. When Juventus travels to Sampdoria later on Monday, it will be aiming to make it two wins in a row.
In its first game back in the top flight since 1996, Cremonese had just just lost to Fiorentina, 3-2.
Both teams had numerous opportunities to grab the lead, but Cremonese goalkeeper Ionuţ Radu made several outstanding saves.
When Cyriel Dessers’ shot hit the crossbar immediately after the half, the visiting squad came agonizingly close to scoring.
Dessers also missed the goal with two daring overhead kicks, while Radu also let Stephan El Shaarawy’s attempt bounce off the crossbar for Roma.
However, the hosts took the lead in the 65th minute when Smalling headed in at the back post from a corner that was floated in from the left.
Charles Pickel’s volley in stoppage time nearly brought Cremonese even. However, it struck the outside of the right upright.
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