Horror night for Mourinho as Roma hit for six in Norway

Published October 23, 2021
BODO: Bodo/Glimt’s Erik Botheim celebrates after scoring during the Europa Conference League match against AS Roma at the Aspmyra Stadion.— Reuters
BODO: Bodo/Glimt’s Erik Botheim celebrates after scoring during the Europa Conference League match against AS Roma at the Aspmyra Stadion.— Reuters

PARIS: Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma were routed 6-1 by Norwegian champions Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, the first time the Portuguese manager has seen one of his team’s concede six goals in a game.

Roma are one of the big favourites to win UEFA’s new third-tier competition but trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes and conceded four more goals after the break. It was the Italian team’s first loss after winning their first two group games.

Tottenham Hotspur, one of the other favorites, also had a setback as they lost 1-0 to Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands.

In the Europa League, West Ham United and 10-man Olympique Lyonnais both earned a third straight victory to remain the last two teams in Europe’s second-tier competition with a perfect record.

Lyon came from two goals down to beat Sparta Prague 4-3 away while West Ham cruised to a 3-0 home win against Genk.

Erik Botheim and Ola Solbakken scored two goals apiece while Patrick Berg and Amahl Pellegrino added one each for Bodo/Glimt, who led 2-1 at halftime and ran rampant in the second period to stun the Italians.

It was the first time in 1,008 games as a coach that a Mourinho side conceded six goals or more. He did rest a number of first-team regulars, perhaps in anticipation of a comfortable night, and was made to pay.

“I decided to play with this line-up, so the responsibility is mine,” the 58-year-old told Sky Sport Italia. “I did it with good intentions, to give an opportunity to those who work hard and to rotate the squad on a synthetic pitch in cold weather.

“I never disguised the fact we were a squad with real limitations. We have 13 players who represent one team, the others are on a different level. We lost against a team that showed more quality on the night. It’s that simple.”

After three games, Bodo/Glimt top the table in Group ‘C’ with seven points, leading Roma by one.

Mourinho’s former employers Tottenham also lost, with manager Nuno Espirito Santo changing his starting line-up completely with the likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Cristiano Romero and Hugo Lloris not travelling for their Group ‘G’ match.

The second-string side were eventually undone by Maximilian Wittek’s 78th-minute goal.

“It was a tough match against a good team,” said Nuno whose team are third in the group at the halfway stage, three points behind leaders Rennes who have seven points after a 2-1 win at Slovenia’s Mura.

Also, 10-man FC Copenhagen lost 2-1 to PAOK after goalkeeper Kamil Grabara was given a straight red card nine minutes into the game for handball outside the area.

Brazilian defender Sidcley and forward Andrija Zivkovic had a goal apiece in the first half to send the Greek side to the top of Group ‘F’ with seven points, one more than Copenhagen.

In Rotterdam, Feyenoord beat Union Berlin 3-1 after forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh opened the scoring from close range with his fourth goal since his transfer from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Bryan Linssen doubled the lead before Union Berlin’s forward Taiwo Awoniyi reduced it to one with his 10th goal of the season in all competitions. Luis Sinisterra netted the host’s third goal in the second half.

The win earned the hosts the top place in Group ‘E’ with seven points. Union are bottom with three.

WEST HAM STAY TOP AFTER GENK WIN

West Ham United moved closer to the Europa League knockout stage as goals from Craig Dawson, Issa Diop and Jarrod Bowen secured victory over Belgium’s Genk and continued their perfect start in Group ‘H’.

West Ham top the standings on nine points ahead of Dinamo Zagreb, Rapid Vienna and Genk who have three each, after the London side kept a third successive clean sheet in Europe’s second-tier competition.

Dawson fired West Ham ahead with a looping header on the stroke of halftime and Diop made it 2-0 from a second assist by Aaron Cresswell before Bowen added the third with a deflected shot on the hour.

“The main thing is topping the group. The home games are vitally important. We want to win away too,” Bowen told BT Sport. If we can stay strong, keep the confidence then I think teams will be fearing us. We could be the team to look out for. We’re only a few games away from a big cup run.”

Sparta led 2-0 in Prague after Lukas Haraslin scored twice in the opening 19 minutes, the first goals Lyon had conceded in the competition.

Lyon hit back as Karl Toko Ekambi scored twice while Houssem Aouar and Lucas Paqueta added one each before Ladislav Krejci pulled one back in stoppage time.

Lyon top Group ‘A’, five points ahead of Sparta, while Scottish club Rangers are third on three points after beating Danish club Brondby 2-0.

“The first 20 minutes were very difficult,” Aouar told RMC Sport. “We have a lot of talent up-front, so we knew how to score after. It proves all the quality we have.”

Napoli kept alive their hopes of advancing from Group ‘C’ after Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano secured a 3-0 home win over Legia Warsaw.

Legia stayed top with six points from three games while Napoli and Leicester City, who enjoyed a rollercoaster 4-3 win at Spartak Moscow on Wednesday, have four each. Fourth-placed Spartak have three points.

Insigne fired Napoli ahead in the 75th minute with a superb first-time shot before in-form Osimhen netted his ninth goal of the season in all competitions and Politano sealed the win with a long-range strike.

In Group ‘D’, Eintracht Frankfurt leapt into pole position on seven points, one ahead of Olympiakos after a 3-1 home win over the Greek side.

Both teams are well-placed to progress as third-placed Fenerbahce have two points and Royal Antwerp one after their 2-2 draw.

Monaco went top of Group ‘B’ on seven points from three games with a 2-1 win at PSV Eindhoven and Real Sociedad are two points behind after a 1-0 victory at Sturm Graz.

After beating Italian champion Inter Milan 3-1 at the weekend, Lazio were held to a 0-0 draw against French side Olympique de Marseille, who drew their third straight game in Group ‘E’.

Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen are tied atop Group ‘G’ with seven points after both scored late to draw 1-1 in Seville.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2021

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