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Soccer-Emotional Destro ends injury misery with Roma winner

Reuters

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Mattia Destro's yellow card was a small price to pay for his emotional goal celebration as the AS Roma forward put a 10-month injury nightmare behind him on Sunday.

The Italy forward came off the bench in the second half against Fiorentina for his comeback match and, within eight minutes, scored to give Roma a 2-1 win and end their run of four successive draws.

It was all a bit too much for the 22-year-old, who was mobbed by his team mates and took off his shirt as he ran on to the running track to celebrate, earning a booking.

"I'd been out for so long that I couldn't stand it any more," he told Sky Sports Italia.

"The most important thing for me today was to get on the pitch. To score a goal was fantastic.

"This long absence made me suffer and it's great to have left this awful period behind me."

Destro, who has played for Italy at every age level and made four appearances at senior level, injured his left knee in a Coppa Italia match against Inter Milan last January.

It was predicted that he would be out of action for two months and he made a gradual return to the Roma team towards the end of the season.

But after a European under-21 championship match for Italy in Israel in June he suffered a recurrence of his injury, leading to a war of words between the two sides.

Destro's return came at the right time for Roma who had lost the leadership to Juventus. Sunday's took them to 37 points from 15 games, three behind Juventus, but they are still unbeaten in Serie A.

"I never had any doubt in the team," said coach Rudi Garcia. "I watch my team work every day with determination and quality and I was certain the wins would return.

"I'm pleased for the team and also for Destro that he has scored after 10 months. It's a great sign for the team." (Reporting By Brian Homewood; Editing by Tony Goodson)

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