Thursday, September 29, 2022

Mourinho: I told my Roma players I felt ashamed of being their coach

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Aug 2022

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Jose Mourinho told his Roma players he “felt ashamed of being their coach” before they recovered from a goal down at half-time to draw 1-1 against Juventus.

Roma had won their opening two Serie A games without conceding but fell behind to a Dusan Vlahovic free-kick inside 76 seconds at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Juve had a second goal through Manuel Locatelli ruled out for a Vlahovic handball in the build-up in a half the home side dominated, outshooting their opponents 10 to three.

Mourinho responded by replacing Gianluca Mancini and Leonardo Spinazzola with Stephan El Shaarawy and Nicola Zalewski at the break, and Roma improved in the second half.

The visitors found a way through from one of their three efforts on target in the second period, with Tammy Abraham turning in former Juve player Paulo Dybala’s acrobatic pass.

While his side’s unbeaten start to the season remains intact with a credible point in Turin, however, Mourinho accepted Roma were rather fortunate.

Asked what he said at half-time, Mourinho told DAZN: “I told the team I was ashamed of them. I felt ashamed of being their coach.

“The game changed, but let’s not talk about tactics; let’s instead talk about attitude. We can’t get where we want with this attitude.

“I told [assistant coach Salvatore] Foti to pray that it finished only 1-0. That would have been a good result after that first-half performance.

“I told them to take advantage of the luck we had, knowing the game could have been over at that point. Every now and then, you are dominated but you have to manage it better.

“I had a bench with very few offensive solutions, especially compared to [Massimiliano] Allegri. But after analysing the second half, we deserved to win that 1-0.”

The goal Roma conceded came from Vlahovic’s first touch and was Juve’s first direct free-kick goal in the league since Cristiano Ronaldo scored against Torino in July 2020.

It ended the Giallorossi’s four-game run without conceding in all competitions, but the home team were unable to hold on and now have just one win from three games this term.

And Juve head coach Allegri recognised his side could have no complaints with the full-time scoreline after they failed to finish off Roma when on top in the first half.

“Jose’s always smart and sharp in the way he reads games,” Allegri said of his opposite number. “If you don’t kill off the game, you always leave the possibility of an equaliser.

“We were tired after a strong first half and probably should have focused on passing the ball around to slow things down.

“That’s something we need to learn. You cannot expect a team to dominate the match for the full 90 minutes.”

Juve, who had beaten Roma in 10 of their 11 previous league games at the Allianz Stadium, went with a 4-2-3-1 formation, but Allegri hinted he is open to change once at full strength.

“First of all we need to focus on getting Federico Chiesa, Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria back,” Allegri said when asked about his set-up. 

“They all have technique and a change of pace. Having changes available from the bench makes a big difference.”

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