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Jose Mourinho questioned the personality of his Roma team after Giallorossi blew a two-goal lead and lost 4-3 at home to Juventus on Sunday.
Goals from Tammy Abraham, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini had made Roma 3-1 after 53 minutes, with Paulo Dybala equalizing early in the first half.
A dramatic collapse by the hosts saw Manuel Locatelli, Dejan Kulusevski and Mattia De Sciglio all find the net for Massimiliano Allegri’s men between the 70th and 77th minutes.
A miserable end to the match for Mourinho was complete when Pellegrini saw his penalty kick in the 83rd minute saved by Wojciech Szczesny, and despite Juve being reduced to 10 men when Matthijs de Ligt received another yellow card for handball, which led to the penalty kick, was unable to force an equalizer.
Mourinho was amazed after seeing his team suffer a “psychological breakdown”.
“For 70 minutes there was absolute control. The team played really well, with the mentality to cope with the match,” he told reporters. “Even the approach at the beginning of the two halves was okay, with the desire to push them high, to be in control.
“We did very well for 70 minutes, then there was a mental breakdown. 3-2 killed us. Felix [Afena-Gyan] made an extraordinary play for a ‘child’. I changed him and the player coming in the first minute [Eldor Shomurodov] who plays wrong, 3-2.
“For a team with a strong personality, 3-2 would not have been a problem. But fear came out, some of our complexes.
Mourinho added: “The problem with Roma is that it consists of ‘good people’. In this locker room, there are just good people.
“If the match had ended in minute 70, we would have said about an extraordinary match, unfortunately it did not end there and all our limits had gone out, even on the bench, of spare parts.”
– OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) January 9, 2022
Roma looked to sail at 3-1 and still ended the match with more shots (19-14), more shots on goal (seven to five) and superior expected goals (2.52-1.42) to their opponents, but showed a weak underbelly once Locatelli scored Juve’s second.
Mourinho has promised to recruit a midfielder “with more physique” during the January transfer window.
“I’m here to help the boys grow,” he continued. “I never thought my personality was enough, I never thought it was easier to work here.
“I want to use all three years of the contract to influence this team, of course I need help from the club. Now we want to bring in another midfielder with more physical strength. “