‘Just one of them would be good enough for me’ - Jose Mourinho draws Bayern Munich comparison as he bemoans strength of Roma squad
- Roma beat Sociedad in UEL
- Mourinho lacked options on the bench
- Desires for Bayern's squad depth
WHAT HAPPENED? The Portuguese manager guided Roma to a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16, courtesy of goals from Stephan El Shaarawy and Marash Kumbulla. Mourinho started Tammy Abraham up front, supported by Lorenzo Pellegrini and Paulo Dybala, with El Shaarawy in a wide-left position. This left him with only Andrea Belotti as a striking option on the bench, who was introduced just after the hour mark to replace Abraham. After the match, the tactician lamented his lack of squad depth and went on to draw attention to Bayern Munich's substitutions against PSG in the Champions League on Wednesday night, when they brought on the likes of Serge Gnabry, Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane even while leading 1-0.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "We only had one striker on the bench. Ola Solbakken wasn't even there. I remembered yesterday's match where Bayern Munich had Gnabry, Sane and Mane on the bench. I would like to even just one of them. Maybe I'll put him in Dybala's place and we win with more goals. El Shaarawy also plays behind and it's hard for him. The boys are fantastic," he told reporters after the match.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: However, Mourinho hailed El Shaarawy and Dybala for their impressive work rate as the duo chased down Sociedad players and dropped deep to defend when the La Liga outfit were dominating possession in the second half. "They all work from a defensive point of view, as Dybala does, it says it all. Let's make our limits even our strengths. This 2-0 is only good if we don't lose with a three-goal difference in the second leg. Stephan (El Shaarawy) is a player who scores goals. He arrived and scored with an important action that we had prepared like this. In the second half, we missed the ball a bit, but I'm happy with what the boys did, I can't ask for more," he stated.
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WHAT NEXT FOR ROMA? The Giallorossi will host Sassuolo next in Serie A on Sunday before making a trip to Spain to play the second leg against Sociedad on March 16.