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Match-winner Gervinho was never cast out by Parma – D’Aversa

The 32-year-old made the difference for the Yellow and Blues on his return to action at Sassuolo on Sunday

Parma manager Roberto D’Aversa has applauded Gervinho following his goalscoring return in Sunday’s Serie A win over Sassuolo.

The former Arsenal forward scored the only goal of the game to give the visitors a 1-0 victory at the Mapei Stadium-Citta del Tricolore.

The outing was Gervinho’s first game for Parma since January 13 after he was punished for trying to force a move to Qatari outfit Al Sadd on transfer deadline day.

Sunday’s strike increased Gervinho’s tally to five goals in the Italian top-flight this campaign.

“As I said yesterday, this changing room consists of players who I consider to be like sons to me,” D’Aversa told the club website.

“It’s only right to make decisions when mistakes are made, but the pitch is all that should be focused on once the reset button has been pushed. My lads have never cast out Gervinho, let’s be clear.

“The player himself did well to play for 60 minutes after what’s happened, just as the team did well to pick up the three points. Well done to Gervinho on scoring, and well done to the team for making his goal even more valuable by achieving the result they did.”

In addition to the manager’s remarks, Simone Iacoponi, who has played in every Parma games so far this season, described the Ivory Coast international as an important player for the team.

“It’s been a different kind of week but we’re happy that Gervinho is with us and is making the difference in the Parma shirt. It hasn’t been easy,” the centre-back said

“He has been and is an important player for us. We agree with what the club has decided on. It’s clear that he’s an added asset for us and we didn’t have a problem with welcoming him back into the fold.”

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