Football Features

Mourinho looking forward to home advantage as England return doesn’t go to plan vs Leicester

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:54, 28 April 2022 | Updated: 13:24, 1 May 2022

Jose Mourinho’s return to England wasn’t a completely happy one as his Roma side were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final.

It was the Portuguese manager’s first game back in England after leaving Tottenham Hotspur last season, up against a team that he generally enjoyed facing. In his previous 11 games against Leicester, in charge of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham, Mourinho had won eight, drawing one and losing just twice.

And he got off to an excellent start with Lorenzo Pellegrini opening the scoring for the away side after 15 minutes, his second goal in the Europa Conference League to go with one assist. But they would eventually be pegged in the second half as Gianluca Mancini diverted Ademola Lookman’s effort into his own next, securing Leicester the draw.

It means Italian clubs still haven’t won an away semi-final match against English sides in UEFA competitions, with their 14 games so far ending in five draws and nine defeats. Of course, fans of the Italian national team will treasure their European Championship semi-final win over Spain at Wembley last summer.


The Pools betting offer: How to get £20 in free bets

Qualifying readers* can follow THIS LINK or click the image below.

*18+, UK only. Deposit and place a minimum £10 cash bet at single or accumulated odds of 1/1 or greater and we will give you 1 x £5 in free bets plus an extra 3 x £5 Free Bets the following day. Applies to first cash bet only. Free bets credited as 4 x £5 bets to use on 3x Any Sport & 1x Virtuals. Cashed Out, Void or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify for this promotion. 1x Free Bets are credited upon qualifying first bet settlement, other free bets credited by midday the day after your first bet settles. 7-day free bet expiry. Available once per customer. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion. Eligibility restrictions apply. Further T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org


But Mourinho has seen the positives of the result, knowing the tie will be decided in front of Roma’s own fans next week.

“I am sure that any Roma fans watching would’ve been happy to know this tie will be decided at the Stadio Olimpico,” he said.

“I know even with 70,000 fans in the stadium and even more outside, it’s still going to be tricky.

“Now we’ve got Bologna on Sunday in Serie A, a team that play very well and win. Unlike Leicester, we have to focus on Serie A and trying to get fifth place, whereas they have no chance of qualifying for Europe.

“We need to forget the semi-final for three days and put all our focus on Bologna.”

Mourinho also praised the quality of the game against two sides that have both been in the Champions League in recent years, giving credit to the Europa Conference League while also slightly knocking it down.

“Maybe it’s a fair result,” he told BT Sport.

“They had more of the ball but we knew that. We were organised, we defended well, we couldn’t counter-attack as well as we could, we lost a few balls, a few possessions but the team was fantastic in attitude.

18+. T&C’s Apply. New customers only. Opt-in & deposit req. 7 days to deposit and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org

(Stake Not Returned on Free Bets). 18+ only. New UK Customers. Must bet £10 in total on 4+ legs, min odds 3/1 (4.0). £20 credited as Free Bets. Free Bets expire after 7 days, stake not returned. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org

18+ only. New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £50* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and bet365 will give you five times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. BeGambleAware.org. *or currency equivalent.

“We played an opponent with a different culture, a different intensity and to take everything to Rome is good for us. I’m not saying it’s easy but it’s good to go home with this result. Let’s go for the final. I’m not speaking about the final in Tirana, but the ‘final’ in Rome.

“Nobody would believe this is a Conference League game. Credit to the competition to have a game of this level and a referee of this level. This game was too good for the Conference League.”

But remember, the winner of the Europa Conference League earns a spot in next season’s Europa League, so there is a bit more on the line for next week’s second leg.


Sky Vegas welcome offer: 50 free spins with no deposit

Qualifying readers* can follow THIS LINK to claim Sky Vegas' welcome offer or click the image below.

  1. Register your account and add a card
  2. Launch an eligible game to claim your 50 free spins
  3. Deposit and spend £10 to claim 200 more spins

*18+ only. New customers only. Opt in required. 7 day free spin expiry. All free spins will auto play on first eligible game loaded. £5 staking requirement must be met within 30 days of opt in. Eligibility restrictions apply. Further T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org