Jose Mourinho: It's fantastic to see Zalewski perform at this level

Thu 28 April 2022 | 21:47

Jose Mourinho accepts the plaudits for Roma's 1-1 Conference League match at Leicester City, despite the fact that he is "not exactly famed for being humble." 'Fans are overjoyed that the match will be decided in the Stadio Olimpico.'

The Giallorossi had taken the lead at the

King Power Stadium

thanks to

Lorenzo Pellegrini

's goal, but

Ademola Lookman

bundled the equalizer over the line from close range. This season, the away goals rule has been abolished in Europe, so whoever wins on May 5 at the Stadio Olimpico will advance to the Final in Tirana.

Nicola Zalewski


youth product, provided assist for Pellegrini's goal. "To see him play at this level is wonderful," Mourinho told Sky Sport Italia. "Zalewski joined the Roma academy when he was 9-10 years old."

"We gave up the ball far too easily, making it impossible to go over the counter; we didn't do that well." We stayed organized, and when the energy levels were high, we were able to press and play the way we wanted, but as time passed, we lost intensity, got too deep, and things became difficult.

"I'm sure any Roma fans watching were relieved to learn that the match would be decided at the Stadio Olimpico. Even with 70,000 fans inside the stadium and even more outside, I'm sure it'll be difficult.

“Now we’ve got Bologna on Sunday in Serie A, a team that play very well and win. Unlike Leicester, we have to focus on Serie A and trying to get fifth place, whereas they have no chance of qualifying for Europe. We need to forget the semi-final for three days and put all our focus on Bologna.”

Mourinho was asked how he plans to approach the second leg against Leicester City with home advantage at the Olimpico. “I need to consider, analyze and also forget because finishing fifth or sixth is different in Serie A. We want to be sure of playing the Europa League next season, we cannot wait to see if we win the Conference League first.

“Leicester attack the space, they did that all the way from the Claudio Ranieri era. They are now attempting to build a little more from the back, but they still sit deep and go to the counter when they are away from home when they have a variety of alternatives for getting off the bench and providing fresh legs.

"It's more important for us to play with our heads than with our hearts." OK, it's the 14th Conference League game, and if we win, we'll go to the championship game. More than anything else, it's about the mentality." When Mourinho was told that Roma's performance already demonstrated maturity that they lacked before his arrival, the Special One gratefully embraced the remark.

"I'm not known for being humble, so I'll have to agree!" We would have lost if we had played this five or six months ago. We had the courage to play the way we did at the start, pushing high with Zaniolo and Tammy, but it's difficult to resist when you don't have the ball. Our defenders sat in place and stopped attacking in front of them; we conceded an avoidable goal, but the outcome is acceptable."

source: SportMob

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