Roma had already used up all of their permitted substitutes, so many people were confused by Jose Mourinho‘s choice.
Table of Contents
Mourinho’s Unconventional Move: Roma Finishes Preseason Match with 10 Men Despite Victory
Even though Jose is regarded as one of the game’s best tacticians, his most recent decision during a preseason match between AS Roma and Albanian club Partizani Tirana puzzled many fans. Roma was forced to play the last 10 minutes of the game with ten men due to a peculiar decision made by Mourinho. However, the Serie A team won 2-1 to end the match at the Air Albania Stadium.
In the first half, Roma went up 2-0 on goals from Andrea Belotti and Stephan El Shaarawy. The extent of Roma’s domination was such that Mourinho instructed new acquisition Houssem Aouar to leave the field in the 79th minute, leaving Roma with 10 players.
By that point, Roma had used all of their permitted substitutes, thus his action confused many. The choice did not sit well with the athlete.
When Jose phoned Aouar and ordered him to remain on the sidelines, the ball was in Partizani’s possession. Aouar wasn’t in a good mood at the time, but Mourinho made an effort to explain his intentions to the newcomer.
In the 85th minute, Partizani took advantage of the window to score, effectively converting a penalty kick.
Very refined from Mourinho
According to Corriere dello Sport, a major sports publication for Italy located in Rome, Jose made the forced substitute to even the score for both teams. According to reports, Zoran Zekic, the manager of Partizani, made a blunder by unintentionally reintroducing a player who had previously been replaced. The referee forbade it, leaving the hosts with only 10 players.
Given that it was a preseason friendly, it seemed a little harsh, but Jose made sure that both teams had an equal amount of players to contend with.
The previous Roma season
After Juventus was docked 10 points, Jose’s Roma finished sixth the season before.
They reached the UEFA Europa League finals as well, but lost to Sevilla in the tiebreakers to finish as runners-up.