For clubs like AS Roma and Tottenham Hotspur; the UEFA Conference League was supposed to be a competition where they would try and test their players because for many this new club tournament is nothing but a third-tier one – well, last night the Norwegian club FK Bodo/Glimt tore apart Roma and Jose Mourinho experienced a terrible nightmare.

Situated inside the Arctic Circle, Bodo/Glimt put Roma to the sword 6-1 in their Europa Conference League Matchday 3 fixture, which is the Giallorossi’s second-worst defeat in European competition after two 7-1 drubbing by Manchester United in 2005/06 and Bayern Munich in 2017-18.

Roma were much changed from their Serie A clash with Juventus on Sunday but had like the likes of Carles Perez, Borja Mayoral and Stephan El Shaarawy all starting.

Bodo were merciless in their performance and were two goals up inside 20 minutes through Erik Botheim and Patrick Berg, with Perez pulling a goal back just before the half-hour.

Roma collapsed in the second half though; Botheim got his second early on, then three goals coming in the nine minutes before the 80th, with a double from Ola Solbakken and another bagged by Amahl Pellegrino.

It’s the first time a Mourinho team has ever conceded six goals in a match, and in his 1,008 games as a coach for the likes of Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter and Manchester United, only Barcelona and Tottenham have managed to put five past a side led by the Portuguese – 5-0 in the 2010 La Liga Clasico when he was coach of Real Madrid, and 5-3 in the 2015 Premier League when he was at Chelsea.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was the first time ever that Mourinho – managing in his 1,008th game – had seen one of his teams concedes six goals in a single match.

“I decided to play with this line-up, so the responsibility is mine,” Mourinho told Sky Sport Italia shortly after the final whistle.

“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 decided to rest many players.”

“We lost against a team that showed more quality on the night. It’s that simple.”

“If I could always play with the same XI, then I would. It’s risky because we have a huge gap in quality between the two groups of players.”

“I knew the limits of this squad, it is not new to me, but I still expected a better response.”

“As I said, it’s my choice to play them, so my responsibility.”

Mourinho hopes the embarrassing scoreline silences those who have been questioning his team selections this season.

“Every defeat does damage. I spoke to the players and was honest. I was honest with them, I cannot be honest with you,” Mourinho added.

“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.”

“At least the positive thing from now on is that nobody will ask me why I always use the same players.”

Roma play host to Serie A leaders, Napoli, this weekend and Mourinho knows his players will have to go into the Stadio Olimpico clash with the right mentality to come away with a result.

Looking ahead to the clash, Mourinho said, “Our main team is playing well and to have the right mentality. We will play with that mentality on Sunday.”

“We had already said some things in private before the 6-1 defeat. This result won’t make me say that in public.”


“I will continue to say it in private, without advertising our internal issues.”

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