Roma made hard work of Salernitana but came out of it with a 2-1 win on Sunday.
Upon their return to Serie A duties in between two Europa Conference League legs, Roma had to wait until the last 10 minutes to turn a result in their favour.
Ivan Radovanovic put the visitors ahead in the first half with a powerful drive. The rest of the game was frustrating for Roma, until substitute Carles Perez equalised with an emphatic distance strike of his own.
Then, another substitute set up the winner, as a cross from Jordan Veretout fell for Chris Smalling to bundle home with five minutes to spare.
It not only prolongs Roma’s unbeaten run in Serie A, but turning one point into three means they remain in fifth place.
Here’s how Jose Mourinho assessed the match.
On whether the result was fair
“In the end I think we deserved it, because we were the side that – even if we were not playing brilliantly – actually really wanted to win the game until the very end. But nevertheless they made it very difficult for us.”
On playing for a sell-out crowd
“I say that perhaps our players need to take a bit more responsibility to deliver for our fans, because they are truly something special – it’s not like we are playing for the title right now. It’s really amazing.”
On Carles Perez
“I am really happy for Carles Perez. He’s a good boy, who works really hard. A few times this season he has not really had a chance because of the system we are playing but today, in the situation we were in, with the qualities he has I put him in a really attacking position in a team that had nothing to lose. I’m genuinely delighted, because it’s a goal that changed the game completely and gave us the chance to win it at the end.”
On the return of Nicolo Zaniolo
“I’m pleased. I’m disappointed for him too, because he did well – really well, actually – in terms of changing the dynamic of the game, and he could have scored two great goals. For one of them, the goalkeeper I think gets a touch, and if he did then it is a phenomenal save. And then the other time it seemed certain to be a goal. But he did well for us.”
On whether Roma can qualify for the Champions League
“No, because Juventus are fourth and they are too good to squander the lead they have. It’s a great competition between fifth and eighth in the table – there is Atalanta, Lazio and us. Fiorentina are also there and doing great, a big win for them today against Napoli. So there is one race going on between the top four, and another with the teams fifth to eighth.”