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Mourinho: ‘Referee and VAR ruined Rome derby’

Jose Mourinho said Italian football ‘has improved a great deal, but the referee and VAR ruined’ Roma’s 3-2 defeat to Lazio.

The Giallorossi had won all but one of their competitive matches with Mou in charge, but were beaten at the Olimpico by their arch-rivals.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Pedro and Felipe Anderson got the goals, with a Roger Ibanez header and very controversial Jordan Veretout penalty setting up a tense finale.

“What we said stays between us. I wanted to immediately do the talk there, but with the same intimacy as the locker room,” Mou told DAZN.

“Let me say something positive first, which is that Italian football has improved a great deal from 10 years ago. The quality of football, the attacking approach, the desire to win, has all improved.”

Mourinho had already started the protests before the game, feeling Lorenzo Pellegrini did not deserve to be suspended, so was furious when he felt Lucas Leiva did not receive a second yellow card for a similar leap leading with the elbow.

He also felt Elseid Hysaj had fouled Nicolo Zaniolo just before Pedro scored the second goal on the counter.

“Unfortunately, a fantastic game was ruined by the referee and VAR, who were not at the right level for this match.

“The second goal could’ve been 1-1, it went to 2-0. The second yellow for Lucas Leiva was important too, because playing against 10 men makes a big difference. Pellegrini got a red, today Leiva got nothing.

“I think my team was the best on the field today. When you concede three goals, you made mistakes, but the second and third were counter-attacks and the second was a situation where the team was expecting a penalty in favour and not a counter against.

“We dominated, we gave Lazio huge problems, they controlled the final minutes the way they wanted to, and because the referee allowed them to do so.”

He did not mention the bizarre penalty awarded when Zaniolo if anything seemed to clip Akpa-Akpro’s knee rather than the other way around.

Jose Mourinho

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Mourinho was asked if he was worried by the repeated defensive errors seen in recent matches.

“No, I would be worried if we didn’t try to win the game even during difficulties. I would be worried if we came here and Lazio dominated for 90 minutes. They scored on the counter, a team that is losing has to take risks and that is what we did.

“Evidently Italian football really has changed if after a game like this you ask me about the football and not the referees…

“We allowed Milinkovic too much space through the centre, he has this quality of running into the box, so we made mistakes, but also reacted the way I like, as if nothing had happened. We immediately forgot the error and as a team tried to create chances. We deserved a better result and the referee was decisive in this match.”


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