Roma Boss Jose Mourinho Furious With Referees After Genoa Draw

Relegation-battling Genoa defied the odds to hold Roma to a dramatic ‘nil-nil’ draw at the Stadio Olimpico. The Giallorossi headed into proceedings as odds-on favourites against warm relegation candidates but failed to live up to expectations. 

Despite going winless in their last 20 Serie A matches, Genoa out-performed their position in the standings to walk away from the nation’s capital with a massive point. Even though Alexander Blessin’s men have drawn a blank in each of their last four league outings, Genoa’s third manager of the season can take some positive from his side’s trip to Rome.

The Grifone are enduring the longest winless streak in Europe’s top-five leagues, but their spirited performance at the Olimpico offers their fans some hope moving forward. And while Genoa fought tooth and nail to avoid defeat, Roma put on another underwhelming display as their pursuit of fourth-placed Atalanta suffered a devastating blow. 

Jose Mourinho’s team had a few decent opportunities to claim all three points, but their performance against one of the weakest Serie A sides flattered to deceive. If only Chris Smalling kept his composure early in the second half, Roma could have defeated 19th-placed Genoa in front of attending home fans.

The English centre-back was left unmarked inside the box, but he misguided his header from point-blank range in the 55th minute. Yet, Roma thought they made it late when Nicolo Zaniolo hammered home a mid-range attempt in the dying moments. But the hosts’ celebrations were short-lived as the VAR ruled the goal out for a foul in the build-up play.

Instead of becoming a hero, Zaniolo turned villain when he recieved his marching orders after throwing a wave of insults towards referee Rosario Abisso. As ever, the Italian’s expulsion left Roma boss Mourinho fuming, with the ‘Special One’ displaying his frustration with the match officials in the aftermath.

I spoke to the referee because, in my opinion, he got it wrong,” Mourinho said as relayed by Sky Sport Italia. “Do you think if Zaniolo played for Inter, Juventus or Milan, the same situation would’ve developed? He hasn’t been given a penalty all season, he gets fouled constantly, he opens his mouth and is automatically booked. He’s had seven or eight yellow cards and two red, a creative player like Zaniolo.

Today Zaniolo was sent off because he said three times to Mr Abisso: ‘Why the hell did you whistle?’ He said it three times in a row, but it was not an insult. If I am a referee, after someone celebrates at the 90th minute, sees the goal disallowed, is naturally frustrated, you can book him and that’s that.

Do you think that red card would’ve been given, for example, to Lautaro Martinez for Inter at San Siro? Or Giorgio Chiellini in the Juventus Stadium? Or Zlatan Ibrahimovic at San Siro? What the hell did you whistle gets a red card. This is where we are, we are considered a small club. Maybe it’s not even his fault, maybe the referee is just following the guidelines he is given for modern football by the professors in charge.

Roma have lost precious ground on fourth-placed Atalanta. The Giallorossi now trail La Dea by four points, with Gian Piero Gasperini’s side also having two games in hand.