Watch shocking moment Roma star Nicola Zalewski’s neck and face are STAMPED ON by Ludogorets defender Olivier Verdon

Watch shocking moment Roma star Nicola Zalewski’s neck and face are STAMPED ON by Ludogorets defender Olivier Verdon

ROMA’S Europa League win over Ludogorets was marred by a horror challenge on midfielder Nicola Zalewski.

The 20-year-old Roma star had his face and neck horrendously stamped on by Ludogorets defender Olivier Verdon.

Nicola Zalewski had his neck stamped on by Olivier Verdon
Nicola Zalewski had his neck stamped on by Olivier VerdonCredit: BT SPORT
Verdon was sent off after a VAR check
Verdon was sent off after a VAR checkCredit: Reuters

The incident happened late in the game between Jose Mourinho’s side and the Bulgarian outfit.

As Zalewski marked Verdon at a free-kick, the Roma man lost his footing and fell to the ground.

But as Verdon stepped over him, he stamped down horrifically on Zalewski’s neck.

His studs dug into the Roma man, leaving him in a dazed heap on the floor.

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It’s unclear whether it was by accident or on purpose, but Verdon pleaded his innocence after being sent off.

Referee Nikola Dabanovic initially waved play on before being told by VAR to check the pitch side monitor.

He quickly overturned his original decision after seeing the shocking replay and gave Verdon his marching orders.

Fortunately Zalewski, who came on as a sub for ex-Manchester United ace Nemanja Matic, managed to soldier on for the rest of the game.

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Mourinho’s side ran out 3-1 winners thanks to two penalties from Lorenzo Pellegrini and a Nicolo Zaniolo strike.

But they were forced to come from behind after Brazilian striker Rick out Ludogorets ahead just before the break.

The result saw Roma finish second in Europa League Group C, above Ludogorets, and behind Real Betis.

They now face a play-off for a place in the Last 16 against one of the sides to have dropped down from the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho's side finished second in their Europa League group
Jose Mourinho’s side finished second in their Europa League groupCredit: EPA

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Giacomo Pisa

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