Jose Mourinho blamed Roma’s “psychological complex” for their epic collapse against Juventus on Sunday as the home side capitulated a 3-1 lead in the Italian capital, seeing Juventus win 4-3 on a Matias de Sciglio winner in the 77th minute.
The loss means Roma is winless in its last three, with just two victories in league play since the start of December. That leaves Roma just seventh in the Serie A table on 32 points, only able to maintain its position thanks to Lazio’s 2-1 loss to Inter that left them in eighth.
After another frustrating result, Mourinho said he believes Roma have psychological problems that they will need to work through.
Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham is having a fantastic season at Roma, but the rest of the squad is struggling mightily. Italian international Stephan El Shaarawy has lost his starting spot and only played 74 minutes against Juventus due to an early injury forcing Nicolo Zaniolo off, while goalkeeper Rui Patricio has conceded three or more goals in a league match six times this year.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has just seven goal contributions this season in over 1,500 minutes, while Chris Smalling looks every bit of his 32 years old. Add in the early loss of summer standout Leonardo Spinazzola to an ACL tear late in Italy’s special Euro 2020 run, and it’s been a season to forget for Jose Mourinho.
What happened in the Roma vs. Juventus match?
Through 70 minutes, Roma were up two goals after Tammy Abraham, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini had all scored.
Then, it all fell apart. The three Juventus goals came within a seven-minute stretch, started by Manuel Locatelli in the 70th minute, followed closely by Dejan Kulusevski two minutes later to level the score, and De Sciglio would cap it off in due time.
Roma had a chance to equalise after Mathijs de Ligt was called for a handball in the box, but Pellegrini’s penalty kick was saved in the 83rd minute by Wojciech Szczesny to preserve Juve’s win.
What did Mourinho say?
“We were in total control for 70 minutes,” Mourinho told DAZN after the match. “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.
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“It was so good for 70 minutes, then there was this psychological collapse. The 3-2 killed us, because Felix [Afena-Gyan] had an extraordinary game, which finished with a sprint against [Juan] Cuadrado. I take him off and his replacement [Eldor Shomurodov] 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**t, you get back on your feet and find your character. 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.”