Jose Mourinho was forced to endure the biggest defeat of his career after Bodo/Glimt routed his Roma side in the Europa Conference League – and then looked to blame the lack of quality in his squad.
The result also marked one of the most surprising setbacks during his lengthy time in coaching, with Mourinho bemoaning the fact that he ‘doesn’t have a very good’ group of players and just a strong starting XI instead.
A Roma team lacking in composure and belief found themselves trailing 2-1 at half-time against the impressive Norwegian champions last night and, despite Mourinho making a raft of changes, shipped four more goals.
Jose Mourinho insisted Roma ‘don’t have a very good squad’ after their defeat at Bodo/Glimt
Shortly after the final whistle, it was confirmed that a side managed by Mourinho had conceded six or more goals in a single game in what was the 1,008th match of his career – and to little surprise, he came out fighting.
Asked for his post-match thoughts, Mourinho said: ‘They have more quality than us. Their first team is a much better team than our second team.
‘It’s my mistake. I wanted to rest players after the game against Juventus and before the game against Napoli. I made these decisions, and in the end, they are better players than my players. They are a better team than my team.
Roma were left shell-shocked by the manner of the Europa Conference League loss in Norway
‘Of course, the 6-1 could be five, could be seven, could be eight. The game went in a direction where you lose complete control of emotions, of everything. The reality of the game is that the best team won with the best players.
‘The only thing I can say is that I tried to do it with good intentions, to rest my players for the next game, but we were punished by that. They are better than us.’
Before the crushing loss, Roma held a 100 per cent record in the newly-established competition, and Mourinho opted to ring the changes. The likes of Tammy Abraham, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini were named on the bench.
In the end, even though several first-team regulars were thrown on, the visitors were unable to claw back a respectable result. Surprisingly, however, Mourinho looked to the collapse of his players, rather than Bodo/Glimt’s qualities.
Erik Botheim (L) scored a brace – with a goal in each half – to inspire his side to stun Mourinho
Roma held a 100 per cent record in the competition before the minnows (above) routed them
Asked how impressed he was with the minnows, Mourinho said: ‘I’m not impressed. I knew they were a good team. We analysed them with all the respect that they deserved. I knew that they were a good team.
‘Of course, I would expect more from my second-line players, I will say that.
‘To lose three, four, five, six, seven, it makes a difference. If I had any doubts, and I didn’t have many, we have a very good team; we don’t have a very good squad.
‘Today, we didn’t play with the team, we played with the squad. We were punished by that.’
Patrick Berg (R) was also on target against a weakened Roma side boasting a raft of changes
Mourinho believes that the hosts’ first-team held more quality than his second string line-up
Erik Botheim and Patrick Berg netted for Bodo/Glimt to leave Roma reeling on an artificial pitch, but Carles Perez halved the deficit with a superb finish.
After that, though, it was the underdogs who took charge. Botheim tapped in to secure his brace, before Ola Solbakken then netted a solo effort.
Mourinho’s misery was compounded late on, Amahl Pellegrino adding a fifth before Solbakken also notched his double to round off the seven-goal thriller.
Roma’s captain, Pellegrini, was brought on in the 60th minute – and later issued an apology to supporters. He admitted his team were given a ‘slap in the face’, and vowed they would respond to their humbling loss.
Forced to watch on during the defeat, Mourinho cut a miserable figure in his post-match chats
Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini (centre) had issued an apology to supporters after the game
‘There’s little I can say, I can only apologise and get back on track stronger than before. We said what we needed to in the locker room and it remains there,’ he said.
‘Sometimes you need a slap to learn and we got a slap in the face today, one we fully deserved. We’ve got to make sure that we learn from this embarrassment and keep that attitude for the rest of the season.’
When quizzed on whether he was concerned by the manner of the loss, midfielder Pellegrini said there were only feelings of anger which will inspire them on.
‘No, I am angry,’ he added. ‘I am not worried, not disappointed, just angry. From tomorrow we have to work even harder, because there are games to be won.’