Roma came into Sunday’s home clash against Udinese as pre-match favorites, albeit plagued by a torrid spell of form. Pressured to return to winning ways after a tepid 0-0 Derby della Capitale draw against Lazio, Giallorossi pulled off a late 3-1 win.
Back-to-back scoring blanks before the November international break renewed doubts about Jose Mourinho’s long-term future at Roma. With Napoli and Milan emerging victorious on Saturday, Giallorossi had to get a result against Udinese to stay within striking distance of the Serie A top four.
And they did thanks to Paulo Dybala’s match-winning performance, moving within a three-point distance of fourth-placed Napoli. Emotions boiled over in the final stages as Dybala fired Roma 2-1 up in the 81st minute before Stephan El Shaarawy put the icing on the cake in stoppages.
However, Roma had to grind to three points. Udinese gave them a run for their money as Mourinho admitted his side let the visitors complicate their lives.
“It is our fault that happened because we could’ve closed it off earlier, but we left the door open,” Mourinho told DAZN, as quoted by Gianluca Di Marzio.
While he somehow restrained himself when Dybala slotted the ball past Marco Silvestri, he exploded into wild celebrations when El Shaarawy sealed the deal.
“I celebrated because it was the goal that finished the game. With those substitutions, we lost defensive intensity and I did not feel terribly secure,” the Roma boss continued. “When I realized that goal killed off the match, I relaxed and hugged a child near the bench. I had to hug the first person I saw, fortunately it wasn’t a policeman or something.“
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