Roma lost 4-0 against Udinese on Sunday evening, slipping to their first defeat of the new campaign.
Here is what Jose Mourinho had to say after the match...
What’s your explanation for the loss tonight…
“It was a tough match, just as we knew the opposition were going to make it tough for us. In games like this, generally speaking you can’t let yourself go behind early. They know how to defend tight and compactly and do a good job of running down the clock. They have smart, physical players. If you go behind against them you are already in a lot of trouble.
“We started well, we had that early chance for Dybala – who, for me, was the best player on the pitch, despite the final scoreline. After [they scored] we were in their hands a bit; every time they got on the ball it was either a counter-attack or a goal.
“We did not take advantage of the opportunities we had. When we hit the post that could have changed the game, just like it could have done if we had got a penalty – although maybe there was an offside beforehand. When you lose 4-0, though, you can’t talk about the officials. That’s a rule of mine.
“I would rather lose one game 4-0 than four games 1-0. That’s for sure. We have lost three points whereas if you lose another three games you drop 12. It’s a tough one to take for both us and the fans, but that is life. Tomorrow is another training session and on Thursday we have another game. We move on.”
Did your side lack the quality to turn this game around?
“My side was playing a particular opponent. It all depends who you are playing against and how the games pan out. We had the chances to get back into the contest but we did not take them. They did, thanks in part to some individual mistakes that we made.
“But in my teams any individual mistakes become collective ones. We made mistakes at key points in the match, when it was still all to play for. It’s a tough one but we have 10 points right now, we are still up there.”
What did you tell your players after the game?
“I told them what I just told you; it’s better to lose one game 4-0 than four of them 1-0. Thursday we have another game.
“We know this opposition very well. When you lose you can’t talk about the referee, but when we found out it was going to be him officiating the game there was the feeling that he was a good referee for a team like Udinese. The first yellow card was a bit of a sign of what was to come in the game. But enough, the responsibility, as always, lies with me.”
Did you have a bad feeling beforehand?
“I had the feeling it was going to be a tough game, and the players knew that. When you go behind it is always very difficult. Last year it was too – on that occasion there was the feeling that we only really got going for 20 minutes.
“Even the lads here who are supposed to be learning fair play do great, every so often I wish I had ballboys like them back at my stadium. We’re not like that, we’re different.
"Congratulations to them, though, it’s a great result for them. They played to their strengths and the game played out as they would have wanted. So well done, we’ll see them again this season at the Olimpico.”