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Mourinho: “Paulo broke the deadlock and that changed the whole attitude”


It seems that Roma have returned to their winning ways as the Giallorossi sealed their second consecutive win in a 3-1 victory over HJK Helsinki in their second outing within the Europa League

Despite the Finnish side going down to ten men within the first half as the skipper Miro Tenho received a red card for a clumsy challenge, Mourinho’s side struggled to find the back of the net as they lacked intensity and urgency within the final third.

Consequently, the “Special One” brought on Paulo Dybala in exchange for Matias Vina within the second half in order to bolster his side ahead of a vital half.

The Argentine made his mark on the fixture immediately as he finished a mesmerizing passing combination with Italian international Lorenzo Pellegrini with a powerful low-driven shot to give his side the advantage.

From that very moment, the 28 year-old injected creativity and liveliness within the Giallorossi allowing them to strive forward and showcase their enthusiasm and flare on the pitch.

In the end, Roma sealed all three points at the Stadio Olimpico as Pellegrini and Andrea  Belotti entered the score-sheet with the help of Nicolo Zaniolo architecting both finishes, following a marvellous showcase on the flanks.

With Roma sealing their first win within the Europa League, the capital club are currently in third and level on points with Luddogrets, three points adrift from the group leaders Real Betis.

Following the positive result, Mourinho spoke to Sky Italia in order to provide his personal assessment of the fixture:

Obviously Dybala scored the first goal and the team had a different attitude. We had the wrong attitude in the first half, acting as if we were 11 against 11.

We were too passive, whereas Paulo broke the deadlock and that changed the whole attitude, we moved to essentially a two-man defence, knew it was mandatory to get two goals quickly and make the most of the extra man.

I’m sorry for HJK, as they started well and it was difficult after going down to 10 men. VAR made the right decision, but I’ve been in these situations as a coach and it’s tough for a coach and players.

It was a difficult match for us, we tried moving the ball around. What a coach must do is try to disguise the weaknesses of his squad as best he can. That also means making the most of your strengths, other coaches investigate and study us, just as we do with or opponents, so it’s a puzzle.

Roma did not play well in the first half, but this game isn’t really a reference for tactics because it was against 10 men for 75 minutes. We need to improve building out from the back, again we have difficulty in that and I try to hide it, but we need to move the ball around faster and these super talented players we have upfront need to be more determined in the finishing.”


Julian Faustini

21 years old, football writer for Footitalia. Calcio is my life and passion.