AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho believes his team did not deserve to lose against Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Despite taking the lead through a Paulo Dybala penalty, Roma went down 2-1 in front of their own fans as a fine strike from Guido Rodriguez and a late header from Luiz Henrique gave Manuel Pellegrini’s side the victory.
The misery for Roma and their fans was compounded late on when Nicolo Zaniolo was shown a red card, which particularly incensed the home section who felt that German Pezzella should have been sent off earlier for a second bookable offence.
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Speaking to Sky Italy after the game, Mourinho said he felt the result wasn’t fair.
He said: “Betis had more technical quality, especially in the first half, yet we had more chances and that is the contradiction of the game that hurts us, because we had the opportunities to score.
“It is easy to recognise they are a team with an elevated quality on the ball that caused us problems in the first half, but after that, the chances were all ours. Zaniolo hit the woodwork, Bravo made a save, we wasted two incredible chances, especially with Cristante.
“I thought a draw would’ve been the logical result and Betis were very happy to score a goal at the end.”
On the red card for Zaniolo, Mourinho was coy on whether he thought it was the right decision or not.
“I did not see, the assistant was there and saw. It is a shame he didn’t see the yellow card for Pezzella, who should’ve been sent off. I didn’t see, but Zaniolo certainly did something.”
And the Portuguese felt that the fatigue of the season caught up to the squad when it came to Henrique’s winning header.
“We are talking about a tired team, one that is trying to win, Matic was able to press and Spinazzola could not, so they found the space at the back. I think it was an error that came from fatigue.
“It hurts, because although it was not a great performance, the team did not deserve to lose.”
The loss leaves Roma third in the group but Mourinho was adamant that he wanted to fight to make it into the knockout stages, rather than drop down into the Europa Conference League a competition they won last season.
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