Jose Mourinho credited Roma substitutes with their comeback win over Salernitana, apologised for a touchline incident involving his staff and insisted they can’t catch Juventus in fourth place.

The Giallorossi were trailing for over an hour at home to rock bottom Salernitana, as an Ivan Radovanovic touched-on free kick pierced the wall into the near top corner.

The minnows also came close to going 2-0 up, denied only by an excellent Rui Patricio save, before the late turnaround thanks to Carles Perez and Chris Smalling.

Serie A | Roma 2-1 Salernitana: Giallorossi avoid shocker

There was also tension, as Roma had two penalty appeals in the first half, one did not warrant a VAR review, the other was revoked because the first contact was outside the box.

“The team was tired, it’s not easy playing Thursday and then Sunday, especially away from home with the long journey. Gasperini will feel the same way about Atalanta,” Mourinho told DAZN.

“It was only after I made substitutions we had some fresh legs and energy to turn it around. Salernitana gave everything they had, it was difficult for them to sustain that intensity for 90 minutes.

“In the end, I think we deserved it, because we tried to win the game right to the end, but Salernitana made it a very difficult match for us.”

Mourinho made an apology to Salernitana coach Davide Nicola after tense scenes on the touchline, another controversial incident after the police were involved in a clash between staff members of Roma and Bodo/Glimt.

“They are right that what happened towards the end was not right. I apologise as the one responsible for my staff that a few excessive words were said.”

Roma need another comeback next Thursday for the Conference League quarter-final, having lost the first leg 2-1 to Bodo/Glimt.

“The players need to feel even more responsibility for our fans, because they are truly fantastic. We haven’t won the Scudetto, so it’s incredible to know the stadium will again be packed out on Thursday.

“I loved the support that the fans had for us, but was also impressed with the 6,000 Salernitana fans who travelled here to cheer on their team in a difficult situation. That was fantastic too.”

Considering the fresh legs made the difference, had Mourinho not considered rotating the squad more for his starting XI?

“We coaches think long and hard before making decisions. If you change too much, things go bad and we feel guilty for doing that. We need to decide at the end, having five substitutions is definitely helpful for coaches.

“I am very happy for Carles Perez, as he works hard, sometimes he has not been used due to the tactical system, but the goal he scored changed the game and gave us a whole other mentality going into the final minutes.”

Nicolò Zaniolo came on at half-time and went close with two big chances.

“I am disappointed for him, because he did really well in changing the dynamics of the game, he had the opportunity to score two goals and I think one of them the goalkeeper got a fingertip to it, an incredible save. He did really well, I was happy.

“Veretout also brought quality after two weeks being stuck at home unable to train. I think this was a victory of the lads who were on the bench.”

Mourinho was asked if Roma can catch Juventus in fourth position and shot that down immediately.

“No, because Juve are too strong to drop that many points. It’s a fight between fifth and eighth, some thought perhaps Lazio would crumble after the derby, but no they’ve won two in a row, albeit with some fortunate refereeing decisions.

“It’s one championship between first and fourth, another from fifth to eighth.”

4 thought on “Mourinho: ‘Roma substitutes won it, apologies to Salernitana’”
  1. It was encouraging to see the vast Olimpico quite full especially when the opponent was not a ‘big’ team. Thursday against Bodo will be crucial – please don’t get knocked out!

  2. I was at Aspmyra last Thursday! We out played Roma most of the match.
    Big game for a big club on Thursday, we meet AS Roma, and I actually belive having seen Glimt live, we will not lose!
    Solbakken is back, Boniface is on fire and the new players is getting the football Bodø/Glimt are playing.
    It will be a great game with a capacity crowd at Olimpico

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