Jose Mourinho suffered possibly the most embarrassing defeat of his managerial career as Roma were battered 6-1 by Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League.
Roma traveled to Northern Norway looking to extend their 100% start in Group C but their much-changed side were humiliated on the artificial surface at Aspmyra Stadion.
Erik Botheim’s eighth-minute opener and Patrick Berg’s thunderous effort put the hosts in control inside 20 minutes. Carles Perez halved the deficit shortly before the half-hour mark but, having got back into the game, Roma imploded after half-time.
Botheim got his second of the game only 7 minutes after the break; before Ola Solibakken got 2 goals either side of Amahl Pellegrino’s goal.
The 6-1 defeat was the first time a Mourinho side had conceded 6 goals in his illustrious 1,008-game managerial career.Embed from Getty Images
It was the first time AS Roma have lost a game by a five-goal margin since January 2019 (1-7 in Coppa Italia against Fiorentina) and in European competitions since November 2015 (1-6 in Champions League against Barcelona).
Speaking after the game, Mourinho took responsibility for the defeat but said the gulf between his first-choice players and the rest of the squad is large.
Roma currently sit fourth in Serie A with five wins and three defeats from their eight league games, but made nine changes from the weekend defeat against Juventus.
“We have a very good team, we don’t have a very good squad,” Mourinho told Sky in Italy. “Today, we didn’t play with the team, we played with the squad, and we were punished by that.
“If I could use the same players every match I would. It’s risky because there’s a huge gulf between our first choice and second choice players. I expected better, but it’s my responsibility.”
He also told Viaplay: “They have more quality than us – their first team is a much better team than our second team. So it’s my mistake. I wanted to rest players after Juventus, and before a game against Napoli, and I made this decision, and in the end, they are better players than my players, they are a better team than my team.
“The 6-1 could be five, could be seven, could be eight, because the game went in the direction where you lose complete control of the emotions of everything, but the reality of the game is the best team with the best players won.
“I tried to do it with a good intention, of resting my players for the next game, but we were punished because they are better than us.”
Mourinho tried to atone for his mistakes early in the second half, bringing on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eldor Shomurodov and Bryan Cristante on at half-time. Before later bringing on Tammy Abraham and Lorenzo Pellegrini after they went 3-1 down.
It was the first time in history that a Norwegian team has scored 4+ goals against an Italian team in any European competition. The previous record was back in the 1994/95 Cup Winners’ Cup when Bodo/Glimt won 3-2 against Sampdoria.
It was also the first time a Norwegian side had won a European Competition match against an Italian team since December 1996 when Rosenborg beat AC Milan in the Champions League.
The match highlighted one of the most beautiful elements of any sport, surprise. Absolutely no one expected the Norwegians to come close to beating Roma, yet they managed to pull off an absolute miracle and became a part of the giant killers of history.
Roma are next in action against Napoli on the 24th October and will be hoping to not be on the receiving end of a third successive defeat.