Jose Mourinho mocked Serie A rivals Juventus and Lazio after Roma progressed to the Europa League quarter-finals with a 0-0 draw against Real Sociedad on Thursday.
Roma won 2-0 on aggregate in the second leg of the last-16 tie. Speaking to Sky Sport Italia after the match, Mourinho indirectly referred to Juventus, who also went through against Freiburg, claiming they should not have been allowed to move into the Europa League after being eliminated from the Champions League group stage.
Mourinho also mentioned Lazio, who were beaten 2-1 on Thursday by AZ Alkmaar, losing 4-2 on aggregate to crash out of the Europa Conference League.
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“I don’t care about the draw, there are teams there that in my opinion shouldn’t be there, because whoever is eliminated in a competition has to go home.
“If a team that has been eliminated from the Champions League wins, it doesn’t mean anything to me because we’ve been here from the beginning. Lazio? They won’t have a third competition to play in,” he said.
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Roma faced 19 shots and only had 24% possession against La Real in the second leg, but Mourinho praised his team’s performance.
“After the 2-0 first leg [win], the home team risks everything and does everything possible. They did everything with the support from the stadium, but the boys today had everything, the ambition to score in the first 15-20 minutes where we dominated and pressed, then we controlled the counter-attack well,” he said.
Roma will enter Friday’s last-eight draw along with Juventus, Manchester United, Feyenoord, Sporting CP, Sevilla, Bayer Leverkusen, and Union Saint-Gilloise. Mourinho, who has won two Champions League titles, two UEFA Cup/Europa Leagues, and last year’s inaugural Europa Conference League, hailed his team’s spirit.
“We are not the strongest team in the world but we are a group that knows how to stay together,” he said.