“What happened? I can’t explain it. I will be honest, Slavia extremely deserved this victory. While we extremely deserved to lose. Not in all matches it is this clear, but this time it is. We lost in a terrible way,” explained Mourinho. This year’s Europa League finalist is second in points in Group G and, like the leader Slavia, has two rounds before the end of the autumn phase, a certain spring in the cups.
Mourinho didn’t come to the press until half an hour after the match, because right after he did a quick analysis with the players in the cabin. By the way, he was the only one from the team to come to the press: “I don’t want my players to talk to the media after such a match. Only I will handle it.”
And the analysis in the cabin? “I usually leave it for the next day, but now I felt like it. Maybe because I was sitting up top because of the penalty and I had a better view than on the substitutes’, commented Mourinho. “I just liked midfielder Bove: he was calm and had a great attitude. He was the only one who followed instructions and did what he was supposed to do.”
The seventh team of the Italian league couldn’t get into the match in Eden from the start and surprisingly managed only two direct shots on goal. Almost as if Mourinho’s boys were subconsciously saving up for Sunday’s league derby with Lazio. “Although I was not born in Rome, no player can feel more Roman than me. But maybe the players are not as professional as I am. Maybe my professionalism doesn’t allow me to spare anyone,” said Mourinho.
Nevertheless, at Slavia, he left out some names in the starting line-up and sent them to the field only in time: the stopper Bryan Cristante jumped into the second half and the mission of the offensive all-rounder Paul Dybala began in the 68th minute. “Maybe Bryan runs 12 kilometers in a game and I need him in shape,” explained Mourinho. “But it wasn’t about this match at Slavia. The problem was, among other things, that we didn’t manage to win a single one-on-one fight.”
What else was wrong? “The players did not comply with practically anything. We should have been faster and made no mistakes, we were losing the ball quite easily,” described Mourinho. “Slavia played the way they tried to in the first match. We quickly got it under control because we scored two quick goals. However, it was completely different in Prague. I repeat that it is only my fault.’