Roma Held Goalless By Bologna as Mourinho Explains Lineup Changes

Roma are no longer in the picture for a top-four Serie A finish after a battling Bologna side eked out a goalless draw at the Stadio Olimpico. With the Europa Conference League rematch against Leicester City waiting in the wings, Jose Mourinho shuffled the deck against mid-table opposition.

Mourinho’s decision to change the skin of a Roma side that held Leicester to a 1-1 first-leg draw in England in midweek Conference League action backfired on the Giallorossi. The absence of several established first-team stars saw the home side struggle to create many clear-cut chances against a defensively rock-solid Bologna. 

Opportunities were at a premium before half-time. Mourinho introduced standout forward Tammy Abraham as part of the quartet of substitutes made on the hour mark but to no avail. The ex-Chelsea marksman immediately linked up with Lorenzo Pellegrini, who struck wide. 

Bologna defender Lorenzo De Silvestri almost grabbed all three points for the visitors late in the game, but Rui Patricio came up huge to thwart his header. An underwhelming draw with the Rossoblu ended Roma’s high-flying run of 17 wins against sides languishing outside the top four in Serie A. 

Despite failing to score for the first time in 30 matches against Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico, Mourinho has managed to rest some of his significant first-team cogs for the upcoming Conference League clash against Leicester. 

With their semi-final tie evenly poised following the abovementioned stalemate in the East Midlands, Roma will have all to play for at home on Thursday. Every piece of silverware matters to the ‘Special One,’ who will be looking to pip his Leicester counterpart Brendan Rodgers to a coveted appearance in the inaugural Conference League campaign. 

Mourinho explained why he had to make so many changes against Bologna, relating it to Leicester’s upcoming visit to Rome.

We’ve got Thursday’s match in our minds, but at the same time we also need to do well in Serie A, because it’s a big difference between finishing fifth and eighth in Serie A,” the Roma boss told DAZN, as relayed by TUTTOmercatoWEB.

I had to rest some players, as they were simply too tired. I wanted to show my faith in all the lads, we are a united group along with the fans tonight.”