“I want to be on the bench on Sunday and I don’t want a disciplinary action against me. That’s why I don’t want to talk.”
We’re still not sure if Jose Mourinho is going full Jose Mourinho yet, but he’s certainly getting pretty close.
With the memory of him throwing his team under the bus after a 6-1 loss to Bodo/Glimt still fresh in our minds Mourinho now produced his famous “I must not speak” angle as he inwardly raged at the decisions that went against his side on Sunday evening.
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Roma lost 2-1 at home to Milan to continue their poor record in big games this season (they also lost to Lazio and Juventus). They stay in fourth place, 12 points behind leaders Napoli and Milan.
In order to get some more reaction we got in touch with Davide Bighiani from Eurosport Italy to talk about both sides.

We see Jose moaning again (indirectly), does he have a point?

The decisions that Roma felt went against them were:
  • The penalty awarded to Milan when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was felled by Roger Ibanez
  • The penalty that was not awarded to Roma when Simon Kjaer appeared to fell Lorenzo Pellegrini
Milan were also left unhappy with the decision to give Theo Hernandez a second yellow card, arguing that the play should have been stopped earlier for a Roma foul on Rade Krunic.

Jose Mourinho manager of AS Roma looks furious during the Serie A match between AS Roma and AC Milan Calcio at Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy on 31 October 2021. (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Image credit: Getty Images

“The decisions on the pitch were both very borderline,” says Bighiani.
“Obviously in the end it is Roma who lose out in both cases, so Mourinho would not be happy.
“However, Milan also believe the red card given to Hernandez was awarded in error. Therefore, this was perhaps a 'bad refereeing' performance in general.”

What about the mood in Rome in general? Time to worry?

It’s really hard to assess Mourinho’s Roma so far. Yes, the results in big matches are not good, and, yes, he is already starting to show his temper.
But, at the same time, this simply isn’t that good of a squad. There has been much focus on the fact Roma have spent the most in Serie A. However, some of those deals - like Marash Kumbulla and Roger Ibanez - were loan moves being made permanent. There’s still work to be done with this squad.

José Mourinho in conferenza stampa alla vigilia di Roma-Milan - Serie A 2021-22

Image credit: Eurosport

“The start was good indeed, maybe even excellent,” Bighiani agrees.
“But in last few weeks many gaps have emerged in his Roma team.
“Mourinho lost almost all the key tactical match-ups, is getting worse results than last year and fails to value Abraham. Now a problem is arising…”

Okay what about Milan, what’s their secret?

The atmosphere around Milan is starkly different. Stefano Pioli’s team are yet to lose a game this season in Serie A and sit joint-top with Napoli on 31 points. After coming so close last year Milan look like a great bet to lift their first title in over a decade.
“AC Milan are reliving what they managed to achieve last year,” explains Bighiani.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan celebrates after scoring a goal during Italian Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico

Image credit: Getty Images

“Last year they finished in second place after a somewhat difficult second half of the season.
“Pioli's team has one year more experience than the other big teams, who have all changed their managers (except Atalanta). Therefore, AC Milan players know the demands of their coach perfectly.
“They are a team who are both sure of their own capabilities whilst also still developing.”

That sounds great but then what’s happening in Europe?

So whilst it’s going great so far at home, Milan are really struggling in Europe, losing all three of their games thus far. It is Jekyll and Hyde stuff.
So what’s going on there?
“AC Milan in Europe are paying for the lack of experience of their players at an international level and the many injuries they suffered at the beginning of the season.

Stefano Pioli durante Milan-Torino - Serie A 2021-22

Image credit: Getty Images

“One thing is to face Serie A teams without some top players, another is to do it in the Champions League.
“Against Liverpool the Rossoneri defended well but the gap between the teams was still too wide, against Atletico, Milan paid a high price for the red card of Kessié, but up to that moment they had performed well .And against Porto they played the worst match of the three, even with so many absences.
“Surely the performances in the league gives more satisfaction, there will be time for Europe in the future.”
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