The build-up to this match was already extremely controversial, with Mourinho saying in a press conference that he was ‘worried’ by the referee Matteo Marcenaro and the VAR, while maintaining Domenico Berardi was ‘disrespectful’ with his behaviour on the field.
Instead, the officiating proved decisive in Roma’s favour, as Daniel Boloca was sent off following a VAR review for his studs-up challenge on Leandro Paredes and Paulo Dybala converted a penalty to equalise.
“The game changed completely when we went down to 10 men. Roma only scored thanks to a penalty and an own goal,” Dionisi told DAZN.
“The sending off was the right decision, but we were also unlucky and the feeling was we never would’ve lost or conceded a goal if it had been 11 against 11.”
There was more controversy in the final minutes when a member of the Roma staff was sent off from the touchline for withholding the ball and refusing to let Sassuolo resume play quickly.
Mourinho said later that he informed Dionisi “in order to receive fair play, you need to first give it and Sassuolo have a player who does not have fair play” – referring again to Domenico Berardi.
“I am a polite person, so I did not respond,” noted Dionisi when asked about that incident.
“If there is a team in Italy with fair play, then it is us, not like the opponents we had today. The trouble is you in the media continue to praise inadmissible comments. My colleagues love to talk about their opponents, but I prefer to talk about the game.”