Reading between the lines, it might be pretty obvious that Jose Mourinho does not like Bodo/Glimt. The Norwegian side has grown in prominence in recent years, winning titles and making waves in European football. They recently cuffed Glasgow Celtic in the knockout rounds, before beating AS Roma (again) in a late 2-1 victory in the first leg of the UEFA Conference League quarter-finals. Mourinho also endured defeat to the Norwegian outfit, 6-1, before succumbing to a draw at home in the group stage.
Now, Mourinho was lost again in Norway – and was very quick to find excuses to justify the surprising defeat. As star striker Tammy Abraham endured a quiet game, Roma looked out of sorts playing on a plastic pitch. Given how rarely such surfaces are seen in the top European leagues, there was noticeable criticism from both Mourinho and others at Roma regarding the pitch condition.
Facing a deficit and having to find form again after not scoring too many goals recently, Roma will need to come alive in the second leg. Mourinho, though, decided to light the spark ahead of the return match in Rome by criticising the opponent, their pitch, and the officials on the night.
An 89th minute winner consigned Roma to defeat and an uphill task to make the last four of the Conference League. Such a defeat would light the fire under Mourinho and leave him likely facing an early exit from the Italian capital.
Fighting his corner, though, Mourinho was quick to find reasons for the defeat – and in typical Mourinho fashion, he did not hold back.
What did Jose Mourinho say about Bodo/Glimt?
As ever, Mourinho started his post-match interview in a calm and reflective manner. After a few short questions, though, the Portuguese showed his true thinking by saying: “The two goals were from a set play and a deflection. We score a lot of goals from set plays too, but it’s a good one to score, a bad one to concede. The first goal was ridiculous.”
However, he also noted that an injury to key defender Gianluca Mancini could be worse than was originally expected. Speaking about that, Mourinho said: “To be honest, the thing that worries me the most is the injury for Mancini. It’s a concern, it’s something caused by playing on a plastic turf.”
At this point, he descended into peak Mourinhoism, noting: “We lost 2-1, we have the second leg to play at the Olimpico in front of our fans and I have no problem saying right now that I feel we are the favourites to reach the semi-final.
“I have total faith in my players, in the stadium, the support from our people. Obviously, Bodo/Glimt are a difficult team, but I also have faith we will have a good referee and assistant in the second leg.
“When we played in Rome against them, there were two very clear penalties for us that the referee did not see, while today there were two moves that were flagged offside and the first half ended with a ridiculous situation as the offside flag was up on a throw-in, which shows you the level.”
Next week, then, will be a decisive week for Roma as they look to edge closer to a long-awaited piece of silverware. Losing the first leg was not in the plan, though; nor was the visible anger of the coach afterwards.