Roma and Barcelona bosses both used similar excuses after their side’s stunning performances and results in their European Cup games on Thursday night
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It was a busy night for European football on Thursday as all eight Europa League and Europa Conference League quarter-final first legs played out.
There was No shortage of talking points throughout the action with many goals and red cards, but it was not a glorious evening for either Barcelona or Roma. In fact, both sides’ respective coaches decided to issue a similar apology after their side’s underperforming results.
Both Xavi Hernandez and Jose Mourinho blamed the state of the pitch for their results against Eintracht Frankfurt – where Barca drew 1-1 against ten men but were mostly second-best – and Bodo/Glimt – where Roma lost 2-1. In fact, the Norwegian champions had already humiliated Roma earlier in the campaign – 6-1 against them in the group stagewhich was the worst result of Mourinho’s managerial career.
Bodo/Glimt are the tales of this year’s Conference League and have been unbeatable in any competition since August, with three impressive results against Roma – their two home wins were complemented by a 2-2 group stage draw in the Italian capital. If they repeat that result in next week’s second leg, they will qualify for the semifinals and eliminate the competition favorites.
Mourinho told Sky Sport Italia after the game, as per Soccer Italy : “The two goals were from a set piece and a deflection. We also score a lot of goals from set pieces, but it’s good to score, bad to concede. The first goal was ridiculous. To be honest, Mancini’s injury is what worries me the most. It’s a problem, it’s something caused by playing on a plastic turf.
While Barca also underperformed away in Frankfurt, the 1-1 result against 10 men was actually a good result for Xavi’s side in terms of performance – and they will remain the favorites to advance to the next week’s Europa League round last four to move in Camp Nou. However, the former midfield maestro was the doom of the pitch in Germany.
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Xavi said after the draw: “It was a very difficult game against a physical opponent. We didn’t know how to stop their transitions. The field was not in the best condition. We created fewer chances than usual but we’re happy with the result . Usually, the team with more possession can do better than their opponents, but today it was the other way around. This is Europe, everything is complicated.”
Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets agreed with Xavi’s comments on the state of the pitch in Germany, adding: “The pitch wasn’t good and it was difficult for us to play on it initially.” The second leg of this encounter will be played at the Camp Nou next Thursday night.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/jose-mourinho-roma-xavi-barcelona-26663388 Jose Mourinho and Xavi copy each other's excuses while pointing fingers at blame