Mourinho and Sarri exchange banter ahead of Rome derby in Serie A

MILAN (AP) — While Roma and Lazio are involved in European competition, much of the attention this week is on Sunday’s derby in Serie A and the barbs are flying.

After Lazio beat Beynoord 1-0 In the Champions League on Tuesday, coach Maurizio Sarri said his side went „to war” against the Dutch, while he deemed Roma’s Europa League game against Slavia Prague on Thursday a mere „friendly”.

Roma’s most successful coach Jose Mourinho said he was unbothered by the comments but launched a thinly veiled attack on Sarri, who won the Serie A title with Juventus in 2020 and the Europa League with Chelsea the year before.

„If anyone is offended by that comment, it’s Slavia Prague, not me,” Mourinho said when asked about Sarri’s comments. The way the coach spoke is like saying that Slavia have no quality.

“I always respect my opponents. Perhaps the difference between a coach who has won 26 titles and another who won nothing is that kind of mentality: every match is important, friendlies are not.

Mourinho’s long list of achievements includes two Portuguese league titles, three in England, two in Italy and one in Spain, two Champions League trophies and three European titles.

However, Lazio beat Roma twice last season and have finished higher than their capital rival in each of the last four seasons.

The teams go into the derby with Roma in seventh, three places above Lazio, but only a point ahead after both have had similarly poor starts to the Serie A campaign.

Both now appear to be back on track in the league – despite Lazio losing at Bologna last weekend – and are in a good position in Europe.

READ  Hopefully Poland wants to stick around

Lazio’s win over Feyenoord left them second in their Champions League group, one point above their Dutch rivals and one behind Atletico Madrid, while Roma won all three of their Europa League matches ahead of the trip to Prague.

„Thursday Roma may allow a kind of friendly match, tonight we played a battle, there is a fundamental difference,” Sarri said on Tuesday. “If you ask me whether it is wise to put a derby in a week when two teams are playing in Europe, I will tell you that I don’t think it is the height of Liga’s intelligence.

“Maybe Lega doesn’t realize it’s a derby in Rome, I don’t know. It sometimes seems to be done by people outside of football, which clearly could be done differently … They (Roma) have a position in the group, they can keep (some) people out of the team.

Mourinho has repeatedly criticized Serie A’s management team for its planning, particularly after Roma’s defeat at Inter, which came three days after its home match against Slavia.

The Lega issued a statement last Saturday defending itself against Mourinho’s accusations that he „wanted to damage his club” and was forced to comment because the „accusations threatened the credibility” of Serie A.

„Lazio will have a 48-hour advantage because they play on Tuesday and we play on Thursday, but I’m at peace with Lega this time, I don’t want to criticize anyone. I’d be a fool,” Mourinho said afterwards.

He added on Wednesday: “Regarding Sarri’s comments, I would also like to hear Lega’s reaction because it is a direct and objective criticism. I’ll be waiting.”

READ  My first game as a fan: Carney Chukwuemega | News | Official site

___

AP Football: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *