Despite being pleased with Roma advancing into the Quarter Finals of the Conference league after their 1-1 draw against Vitesse, which allowed them to win 2-1 on aggregate across both legs, Mourinho was disappointed with his side’s lackluster performance at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Giallorossi seemed to have played without any sense of urgency until Maximilian Wittek scored a stunning volley with the outside of the foot from a long way out to break the deadlock and make it level on aggregate, causing total chaos for Mourinho’s side.
While it seemed like the fixture was set to enter extra time as Roma’s 1-0 advantage on aggregate slipped away and they were struggling to create offensively, Ricky Karsdorp crossed the ball into the box for Tammy Abraham. The English talisman tucked the ball into the back of the net within the dying minutes of the game to put the fixture to sleep and seal their spot within the next phase of the competition.
Following Roma’s narrow draw, which allowed them to advance to the Quarter Finals of the competition, Mourinho criticized his side following their display this evening within the capital in a post match interview with Sky Sport Italia: “We expect more quality from everyone, not just Roma, but in the end someone goes home, someone goes into the draw, and fortunately we are the latter.
“This is a team with limitations at various levels, but if a few months ago everyone talked about us lacking determination, the ability to control a lead, the disaster against Juve, that we were winning 3-0 in Sofia and it ended 3-2, now people talk about our ability to resist pressure and score in the final minutes.
“It’s a trend at the moment, I think we’re now eight or nine games without defeat. I was glad that at 1-0 down, a situation of immense risk, a team might be tempted to wait and play extra time, but not us, we pushed to close the situation in regular time.
“I must also say, Vitesse are really good. There’s this tendency only to criticize, but I didn’t even know the name of their coach, he’s excellent! If a team plays like Vitesse, it’s because their coach is excellent!
“It’s not that we played badly, it’s that they played really well. They had players like Bakker who were moving right, left, center, causing huge problems.
In addition, the gaffer spoke about his men not being able of maintaining their 1-0 advantage on aggregate: “We never came into this to control the result or aim for a draw to get us through. We worked with one objective, preparing to go for victory. Up until their goal, which was fantastic, it had seemed to be if not under control, then with very few dangers
“I told the lads at half-time, there are three things we need to worry about. The first is set plays, the second is they always have a defender without being pressed, the third is that we could be unbalanced when losing possession.
“The problem tonight was we lost the ball so cheaply, our strikers lost the ball every time. We didn’t manage a single time to say just give it here on my chest, and you go there. We lost the ball cheaply in midfield and with the wing-backs too.
“It was a bad performance on a technical level, it might seem tactical, but it was technical. We defended well and showed character, but we also pushed hard at the end with El Shaarawy as a third striker, not a wing-back.
“I don’t want to say we 100 per cent deserved to go through, but over the two legs did a little more.”
Finally, the Portuguese tactician spoke about Roma’s upcoming Derby della Capitale against Lazio Sunday evening: “Obviously, I am not happy that we played today with many players who will also have to be there on Sunday while tonight Lazio are home smoking cigarettes with Sarri, but it’s because Vitesse are really good!
“Now Sarri is at home smoking his cigarette while I go home trying to think how we can recover from this for Sunday.”