Jose Mourinho claimed Roma were unlucky in their 4-0 loss at Udinese, insisted Paulo Dybala was the best player on the pitch, and labelled referee Fabio Maresca “perfect” for the hosts’ style of play.
Goals from Destiny Udogia, Lazar Samardzic, Roberto Pereyra and Sandi Lovric condemned Roma to their first defeat of the campaign on Sunday as Mourinho suffered his heaviest defeat in a Serie A game.
Indeed, only once in his managerial career has Mourinho suffered a more emphatic defeat in a home league game, when he lost 5-0 to Pep Guardiola’s huge Barcelona side in 2010 when he was in charge of Real Madrid.
Despite the heavy defeat, Roma had more possession (56.9 per cent) and more shots (12-11) than their hosts and Mourinho believes defensive errors are costing the Giallorossi dear.
“We were unlucky today, we scored two goals that decided the match,” he said.
“I talk about bad luck because at the beginning we went well with the opportunity created by Dybala, who was the best player on the pitch for me.
“It’s clear that after losing 4-0 someone can laugh, but he gave quality, he had character.
“I told the players that when Udinese go forward, they are good at everything. They are good at defending, controlling the timing of the game, going on the counter-attack to bringing up the boys with the ball. We don’t have the last one.” quality.
“A perfect game for them, a well-deserved win, it’s difficult for us, but I prefer a 4-0 defeat to four 1-0 defeats.”
Mourinho was furious at the decision to deny Roma a penalty when Zeki Celik was bundled up in the area at 1-0 but said it would be “ridiculous” to blame the defeat on the officials.
However, the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss couldn’t resist taking a dig at Maresco, claiming his officiating style suits the more physical hosts.
“When you lose 4-0 it’s ridiculous to talk about the referee,” Mourinho said.
“I think it wouldn’t even be fair to say we lost with the referee, we paid for the mistakes we made.
“I won’t hide from you that when it’s such a physical game and the first yellow card goes to the man of the match [Dybala], it’s a bit contradictory.
“My principle is always the same, before the matches I never talk about the referees, after the match I can say that we feel bad with him.
“But when we saw who he was, we realized he had a perfect feel for Udinese, how they play.
“But we didn’t lose with the referee, he didn’t play a disastrous game, he played a game at his level.”
Mourinho was unhappy with criticism of his decision to put captain Lorenzo Pellegrini in a more advanced role than usual, saying: “Pellegrini and I have played in that position before. I was a commentator in England for a while, how easy it is.
“Everything is harder when you’re sitting on the bench.”