Jose Mourinho Finds Bizarre Excuse For Roma Draw With Venezia

Dark clouds are looming over the Stadio Olimpico these days as already-relegated 10-man Venezia held Roma to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night. Despite already losing mathematical chances of assuring Serie A survival, the Lagunari put on a stubborn defensive performance to fend off the Giallorossi

Salernitana’s 1-1 draw at Empoli sent Venezia straight back to Serie B even ahead of the Stadio Olimpico kick-off. However, Andrea Soncin’s side looked unfazed in the capital, throwing Roma’s hopes of securing Europa League qualification into doubt. 

Less than a minute into the game David Okereke catapulted the dead-last visitors into a shock lead. Star playmaker Mattia Aramu picked out his striker with a pinpoint cross and the Nigerian had no problems heading the ball past helpless Rui Patricio. 

Roma quickly took control of proceedings, with Sofian Kiyine’s expulsion after the half-hour mark putting the wind in the home side’s sails. Yet, Jose Mourinho’s men failed to lay a glove on the visitors’ backline before the interval, forcing the Portuguese boss to complete three substitutions at half-time. 

Even though they had their backs firmly pinned to the wall for most of the game, Venezia’s clean sheet lasted until the 76th minute, when one of the substitutes, Eldor Shomurodov, hammered home to draw Roma level. The Giallorossi came agonisingly close to completing the turnaround, but Venezia goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa had a night to remember. 

Saturday’s stalemate means Roma could surrender the sixth place to Fiorentina, who take a trip to Sampdoria on Sunday. With just a point separating the sides, La Viola’s potential triumph at Luigi Ferraris would knock the Giallorossi down to the solitary Europa Conference League promotion spot. 

In a true ‘Special One fashion,’ Mourinho tried to defend his side’s underwhelming result by prioritising Roma’s upcoming Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord over the Scudetto. 

If we can also win a [Europa Conference League] trophy, I’ll say it was deserved for us, but even more deserved for the fans,” he told Sky Spor Italia, as relayed by TUTTOmercatoWEB.

If this happens, when Milan or Inter win the Scudetto, I think in terms of passion of the people, this means far more. Family is always there when you win, when you don’t win it’s different.

I don’t know if it has always been like this, but I can say Roma have truly special fans. Truly special.