Jose Mourinho throws AS Roma player under the bus in cutting reaction to Juve collapse

  • Kobe Tong
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Jose Mourinho was absolutely seething after AS Roma threw away a 3-1 lead against Juventus on Sunday.

The Romans were left to stomach their ninth Serie A defeat from 21 games this season despite entering the final 20 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico with what appeared to be an unassailable lead.

Despite Tammy Abraham’s opening goal having initially been cancelled out by Paulo Dybala, strikes from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini fired the hosts into an impressive two-goal lead.

AS Roma 3-4 Juventus

However, everything began to unravel in the closing act of the game with goals from Manuel Locatelli, Dejan Kulusevski and Mattia De Sciglio completing a stunning seven-minute turnaround.

The drama didn’t end there, though, with Matthijs de Ligt’s red card and the awarding of a penalty to Roma giving them the chance to equalise… only for Wojciech Szczęsny to thwart Pellegrini’s effort.

You could hardly have designed a game that would have left Mourinho fuming anymore if you tried with a capitulation in the final minutes compounded by an untaken chance to rectify the situation.

Mourinho throws sub under the bus

As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mourinho was typically infuriated when he spoke to the world press after the game, not shying away from criticising his players’ attitude during the defeat.

In fact, Mourinho dropped a particularly cutting assessment of Eldor Shomurodov – who was substituted on for Felix Afena-Gyan when Roma were leading 3-1 – in his post-match comments.

The Uzbek forward failed to track the run of Juan Cuadrado for Juventus’ equaliser and managed to lose possession three times and give away a foul despite only making 12 touches, per SofaScore.

Damning reaction to Juventus collapse

However, no matter how badly you think Shomurodov might have performed in the ‘Eternal City’, you can’t help cringing when you truly feel the degree to which Mourinho threw him under the bus.

According to Sky Sports, Mourinho remarkably told DAZN: “It was so good for 70 minutes, then there was this psychological collapse. 

“The 3-2 killed us, because Felix [Afena-Gyan] had an extraordinary game, which finished with a sprint against [Juan] Cuadrado. I take him off and his replacement [Shomurodov] gets it all wrong.

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“When we allowed them back in for 3-2, a team with a strong mentality like Juventus, a strong character. The fear set in. A psychological complex. It’s not a problem for me having 3-2, it’s a problem for them. For my team.

“At the end of the day, when you’re in the s***, you get back on your feet and find your character. But there are people in this locker room who are a bit too nice, a bit too weak.

“I already told the players, if the game had ended at the 70th minute, it would’ve been an extraordinary performance. Unfortunately, it didn’t end then.”

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Worrying times in Rome

Was that really necessary, Jose? Look, tensions run high after matches like that and Mourinho is unquestionably a top-class manager, but publicly slamming your own players never goes well.

And when it comes to a fringe striker who was chucked into the action when Juventus were mid-comeback, you can certainly have sympathy considering he didn’t commit a particularly wild error.

However, slamming players has just become part and parcel of the Mourinho stratagem these days and don’t expect it to change at Roma when they almost have as many league losses as wins.

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