Spezia Boss Thiago Motta Furious with Referees After Roma Defeat

Roma squeezed past a ten-man Spezia at the Stadio Alberto Picco as another controversial VAR decision left Thiago Motta fuming at the refereeing. The Giallorossi took home all three points, courtesy of referee Michael Fabbri’s decision to hand them a spot-kick in the 99th minute. 

Fabbri had a tough match to officiate on his hand, but it feels like he failed to cope with the pressure. He first sent Spezia right-back Kelvin Amian off on the stroke of half-time, showing him two yellow cards in six minutes to give Roma the upper hand in the second half. 

Despite being a man down, Spezia fought tooth and nail to keep the visitors at bay, and they would have seen it through if it wasn’t for another suspicious VAR call. Fabbri was called to check an incident inside the home side’s six-yard box deep into the stoppage time, and after consulting the side-pitch monitor, he decided to award a penalty to Roma.

Tammy Abraham slotted the ball home to give his side their first Serie A victory after three consecutive draws at the expense of the devastated Alberto Picco faithful. A wave of insults was thrown at the referee and the player during those high-octane moments that left Spezia barely afloat. 

A third league defeat in a row left the Aquilotti a mere four points clear of 18th-placed Venezia, who also have a game in hand. But Motta praised his team’s spirited display against superior visitors. 

Our team with a man down controlled the game. We felt freedom with the ball against a great team. It ended the way it ended, but we are on the right track and I am proud of my team,” he said in the aftermath, as relayed by Calciomercato

We thought about winning it, why not? That’s what we play for. There were three incidents that went against us, but my players gave their all and were a man down for the entire second half, but still created chances to score.”

With a season-long fight against the drop now looming, the Spezia boss lashed out at the match officials after their ill-tempered reverse at home.

Considering everything we did, a draw was the least we deserved. We will not complain, we will not play victims. I expect the same apology from the refereeing chiefs that the big clubs got this season.

At the end of the day, when we watch the games in Europe and see the way those are officiated, we don’t find incidents like this. We await an apology as a club.

I also expect an apology for the penalty, because if there is ever any doubt, they whistle against us. It has happened throughout the season. I understand the pressure is going up at this moment, the big clubs start doing it, we pay our taxes too, so we expect the same treatment.

At least it seems that Jose Mourinho’s unrelenting critics of Italian referees finally paid dividends. The Portuguese manager saw his side benefit from a controversial VAR decision for once. Jokes aside, there have been too many questionable calls made by the match officials this season, which requires urgent handling.