AS Roma vs Leicester City: 'Our performance was extraordinary,' says Jose Mourinho

The Italian side registered a 2-1 aggregate victory to enter the final of the Europa Conference League where they will meet Feynoord on 25 May.

AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho; Credit: Twitter/@ASRomaEN
By Sreejith C R | May 6, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

AS Roma head coach Jose Mourinho was delighted with his team’s performance in the 1-0 win over Leicester City on Thursday night. The Italian side registered a 2-1 aggregate victory to enter the final of the Europa Conference League where they will meet Feynoord on 25 May. Tammy Abraham’s 10th-minute header separated the two sides at Stadio Olimpico. It was a very good defensive display from the Giallorossi, as the Foxes registered just two shots on target in the entire match and failed to create any clear-cut chances. Meanwhile the first leg at King Power Stadium had finished 1-1 after Gianluca Mancini’s own goal had canceled out Lorenzeo Pellegrini’s first-half strike. 

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We want to win the final: Jose Mourinho

“I am so tired, I want to go home!” Mourinho told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s a victory of the family. Not just the one that was on the pitch and on the bench, but in the stadium. That is our greatest achievement, this empathy and sense of family we have created with the fans. I think our performance was extraordinary, others might see it differently, but when your goalkeeper makes two saves over 120 minutes against a Premier League side with so much attacking quality, it means we’ve done something good. The lads deserve this, we have three Serie A games left to end as well as possible. We’ve had a fantastic trajectory to reach the final, we dropped points in Serie A to achieve that, but now we are in the Final and we want to win.”

Mourinho makes history

Mourinho has now become the first manager in history to reach four European finals with four different teams (Porto, Inter Milan, Manchester United, Roma). The Portuguese tactician can also become the first to win the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League. After taking the lead, the hosts went into defensive mode and gave very little space for the opponents in the attacking third. “Our pressing style runs risks, but we are not capable of doing it for 90 minutes. We sat deeper, transformed to a 5-3-1-1 formation, kept the lines tight with an incredible effort from the midfielders. It wasn’t easy to keep the ball without Mkhitaryan, but they worked so hard. Again, it was a family, this is how I describe this team.”

Rejuvenated Tammy Abraham

Roma took the lead courtesy of a well-taken corner kick. Abraham managed to get away from his marker Ricardo before powerfully heading the ball past the visiting goalkeeper Kasper Scheimechel into the back of the net. It was the Englishman’s 19th goal of the season and third in the conference League. The 24-year-old, who moved to Italy from Chelsea last summer has rejuvenated his career under Mourinho. “Tammy knows, I refuse to speak highly of him. Because he can do better and he knows that! He is a great player with potential to be even greater. I refuse to praise him! He needs to work this hard in every game, not just when we are up against Lazio or fighting for a European Final!”

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