Jose Mourinho throws "weak" Roma stars under the bus in scathing rant after Juventus loss

By Freddie Keighley

Jose Mourinho branded his Roma players "weak" and accused them of suffering a "psychological collapse" after they threw away a commanding lead to lose to Juventus.

Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini put the Giallorossi 3-1 up in the second half after Paulo Dybala equalised following Tammy Abraham's opener early on.

Roma seemed to be cruising to three valuable points to boost their hopes of Champions League qualification, but things quickly unravelled as Juve scored three quick-fire goals in the closing stages.

Manuel Locatelli halved the deficit and Dejan Kulusevski drew the visitors level at Stadio Olimpico before Mattia De Sciglio struck to prompt raucous celebrations.

However, there was plenty of drama yet to unfold and moments later Matthijs de Ligt was judged to have handled the ball in the area, resulting in his dismissal for a second bookable offence and a penalty for Roma.

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Mattia De Sciglio's goal prompted emphatic Juventus celebrations (Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Extraordinarily, captain Pellegrini was unable to add to his fine strike in the 53rd minute and saw his sport kick saved by Wojciech Szczesny.

Mourinho was furious with the manner of the defeat and pinned the result on Juve having a far superior mentality to his own players during a spectacular rant after the full-time whistle blew in the Italian capital.

"We were in total control for 70 minutes," the Portuguese manager told DAZN, per Football Italia. "The team played really well and had the mentality of taking control, we came out and started strong.

"We had this idea of the high press, of controlling the tempo and taking the initiative.

"It was so good for 70 minutes, then there was this psychological collapse. The 3-2 killed us, because Felix (Ohene Afena-Gyan) had an extraordinary game, which finished with a sprint against (Juan) Cuadrado. I take him off and his replacement gets it all wrong.

"When we allowed them back in for 3-2, a team with a strong mentality like Juventus, a strong character. The fear set in. A psychological complex. It’s not a problem for me having 3-2, it’s a problem for them. For my team.

"At the end of the day, when you’re in the s***, you get back on your feet and find your character.

Jose Mourinho declared his players are "too nice" and "too weak" (Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

"But there are people in this locker room who are a bit too nice, a bit too weak.

"I already told the players, if the game had ended at the 70th minute, it would’ve been an extraordinary performance. Unfortunately, it didn’t end then."

Ainsley Maitland-Niles made his debut for Roma - having joined on loan from Arsenal earlier this week - in the enthralling Serie A clash.

The 4-3 defeat leaves Mourinho's side seventh in the table, nine points behind fourth-placed Atalanta, who have a game in hand.


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