Jose Mourinho sends mixed messages about the referee, but insists Roma ‘deserved to win’ their 1-0 defeat to Juventus and confirms Tammy Abraham wanted to take the penalty.
The Giallorossi had started strong, but suffered a painful one-two blow of Moise Kean’s goal – redirecting the Rodrigo Bentancur header – and losing Nicolò Zaniolo to a knee injury.
There was chaos on the penalty incident, which had Daniele Orsato blow the whistle too early when he should’ve played the advantage for the Abraham tap-in.
At the same time, it’s arguable Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s handball would’ve disallowed it and brought play back to the penalty foul too.
Wojciech Szczesny parried Jordan Veretout’s spot-kick, ending the France international’s 100 per cent record for Roma.
“I can only say I saw a great Roma today. That’s what I told my players in the locker room,” Mourinho told DAZN.
“Obviously, we are talking about a defeat and zero points, but all I can say is that was a great Roma in every respect. Congratulations for the organisation, the hard work, those who played despite some physical difficulties, missing players through international duty.
“I saw courage, confidence, belief. Obviously, the defeat will always be a defeat, but if I look at the project, that means looking at the growth of the team over time.
“I might see it differently to you, but I saw the team that deserved to win ended up losing. That is football.”
Despite the tension and controversy, Mourinho and Allegri gave each other a high-five at the final whistle.
“Giving three minutes of stoppages, that shows intention. The penalty incident, I don’t want to comment on. I don’t have all the information at hand, I haven’t seen the replays. I want to isolate myself from that incident and concentrate on everything my team did.
“All the words we heard from Juventus in the tunnel and the locker room, I hope they say it in public too. They know how much they struggled against us.
“I won here many years ago without playing so well, today we lost when playing very well and showing we are going in the right direction.”
Abraham seemingly wanted to take the penalty and was discussing it with Veretout before the kick. Did that contribute to Veretout’s tension?
“Abraham is confident, he was fired up, but we have a hierarchy for penalties. Tammy is third behind Veretout and Pellegrini. If Jordan said he was ready to hand it over, that would not have been a problem for me.
“I told the lads that when going into these games where you are not the favourite, you cannot go home with regrets. We played well, we neutralised their counter-attack and had absolute control of players like Chiesa and Cuadrado.
“We moved the ball internally, but when up against a side that defends that well with those two Professors (Chiellini and Bonucci, ndr) it’s not easy. I still feel we did more than enough to win or at least draw. I congratulate my players, the result was… I was about to swear then! But I congratulate my men.”
Mourinho: “Dare tre minuti di recupero dimostra l’intenzione. Il rigore? No, voglio isolarmi” https://t.co/pFfbIFYYwD
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