Jose Mourinho insists ‘it is better to lose one match 4-0 than four matches 1-0, because ultimately we only dropped three points’ against Udinese and tried to shield some of the individual Roma errors.
It was a shock at the Dacia Arena, because the Giallorossi came into this weekend as joint Serie A leaders with Atalanta, having conceded only one goal.
Yet they were hammered 4-0 by Udinese, as Destiny Udogie pounced on an early Rick Karsdorp error, Lazar Samardzic’s long-range effort bounced right in front of Rui Patricio for a howler, while the goalkeeper was not exactly impressive on the Roberto Pereyra and Sandi Lovric goals either.
“My explanation is it was a difficult game, a difficult opponent that knows how to play this type of game. You cannot go behind in these matches, otherwise they defend really well, go on the counter, can control the tempo, make tactical fouls, so if you go behind against them, you are already in trouble,” Mourinho told DAZN.
“We had a great chance early with Paulo Dybala, who aside from the result in my view was the best player on the pitch, but after that we were in their hands. Every time Udinese went on the counter, we conceded.
“Our chances were a header off the woodwork and a potential penalty that might’ve been offside anyway, but when you lose 4-0, you cannot talk about the referee. That is my rule.
“I will say that I prefer to lose one match 4-0 than four matches 1-0, because ultimately we only dropped three points rather than 12.
“It’s tough for us and the fans to swallow, but this is life, we have another game on Thursday and we go forward.”
Roma will play in the Europa League on Thursday, opening the group stage against Ludogorets Razgrad away from home.
“My Roma had opportunities to equalise or go 2-1 up, we didn’t take them. They were dangerous on the counter and there were a few goals that were due to big individual errors, but in my team individual errors always become collective errors.
“It’s tough, but we go on. There are a lot of teams up there near the top, we continue our path.”
The studio tried to ask Mourinho questions, but he wanted to cut it short and return to the locker room to be with his squad.
“I’m sorry, but I have to go. This is the kind of day where the players need me. I told them what I told you, it is better to lose once 4-0 than four times 1-0.”
The Special One then went on to aim some barely-veiled criticism at everyone from the Udinese players to their ball-boys and the officials.
“When you lose 4-0, you cannot talk about the referee, but when we heard this was the referee for the game, we realised he was the perfect official for a team like Udinese to play at home. The first yellow card went to the artist of the match, that says it all.
“We were trailing here and managed to get back a draw at the 90th, we knew then that it would be a problem, that out of 45 minutes only 20 are played. It’s a great school of fair play, I wish I had ball-boys like that in our stadium…
“Really, congratulations to them, this is how they play, we do it differently, we will meet again later this season.”