Jose Mourinho led Roma to their first win of 2022 at the third attempt on Sunday, when Sergio Oliveira scored on debut against Cagliari.
Roma had been made to work hard from their first two matches of the calendar year. Their third was similarly taxing, even against an opponent of lesser stature.
In a game overshadowed by several penalty decisions, it was only natural that the result would be decided from the spot. Recent signing Oliveira took the responsibility from 12 yards to score the game’s only goal in the 33rd minute.
There were other appeals and opportunities, while Roma required Rui Patricio to make a big save to keep their clean sheet in the second half, but in the end Oliveira’s debut strike was the difference.
It will have been a relief for Jose Mourinho to witness after the manager’s long-lasting attempts to strengthen in midfield. But the new face was not the only subject of his compatriot’s post-match analysis.
Here are five notable comments from Mourinho following the win for Roma over Cagliari.
On the importance of Patricio’s save
“We had complete control and yet a game that we should have won 4-0 or 5-0 could have finished 1-1. That’s why I always felt a bit concerned. I was a bit concerned until the end. Whenever you don’t kill off a game you can always end up dropping points – as would have happened to us if not for Rui Patricio’s save.”
On Marash Kumbulla
“For me, Marash Kumbulla was the best player tonight. He put in an amazing performance and that is a big satisfaction for me, because earlier in the season he had his issues and I was very harsh with him with the attitude and feedback I gave him in training. But he was always very calm, very humble and over time he’s improved.”
On Sergio Oliveira’s debut
“To be honest, we need more Sergio Oliveiras. In the sense that we need more finished articles, players of 29 years of age who have experience and know what needs to be done in key moments of any game. I said that he is not what you guys in Italy would call a ‘regista’, he’s not Pirlo or Pjanic, but he is nevertheless a player that we needed here.”
On the impact of January signings
“[Ainsley] Maitland-Niles gives us more options: today Rick Karsdorp was on the bench after not training with us all week. If we didn’t have Maitland-Niles then we would have been in real trouble today. So in the transfer market we have managed to add two players who, at the very least, improve the overall options we have.”
On the upcoming schedule
“You are looking at the next five or six games where we are playing sides in the lower half of the table. But I still remember that we lost games against Bologna and Venezia and dropped points against Sampdoria. So there is no guarantee we will win these upcoming games. But the boys needed a win today and they got it. That’s really important for us.”
Visit here to see all the rumoured Roma transfer targets.