More misery for Mourinho as Roma fall to shock Europa League loss at Ludogorets Razgrad

Italian side beaten 2-1 in Bulgaria just days after Serie A thrashing by Udinese

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Jose Mourinho's miserable week continued on Thursday as his Roma side were beaten 2-1 by Ludogorets Razgrad in their opening Europa League fixture.

The Italians, who won last season's inaugural Europa Conference League, looked to have secured a draw when Uzbek forward Eldor Shomurodov equalised with four minutes to go, cancelling out Brazilian midfielder Cauly's opener for Ludogorets.

But the Bulgarian champions grabbed all three points in the 88th minute through Nonato, another member of their sizeable Brazilian contingent.

The defeat comes hot on the heels of Roma's 4-0 Serie A thrashing by Udinese on Sunday, a result that Mourinho admitted was “tough for us and the fans to swallow”.

But the Portuguese, chasing his third Europa League title following victories with Porto in 2003 and Manchester United in 2017, felt the defeat in Bulgaria was harsh on his team.

“I’m not saying we played a fantastic game because it’s not true,” Mourinho said after the match. “But I find the result quite unreliable. The performance was enough to not lose the game.

“We were the ones who had the highest number of chances. After Ludogorets scored, the next fifteen minutes became very difficult. There was a great reaction on our part, we find the equaliser, and then a minute later they score again.

“It seems like everything’s going against us,” Mourinho added. “Fortunately this was not an elimination match and there are still five games left to play.”

“Winning the first match always leaves you in a good position but now there is pressure. Next week at home we need to collect three points.”

Next up for the Italians in Group C will be Finnish outfit HJK Helsinki at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday

Roma, who were without England striker Tammy Abraham due to a shoulder problem, are back in action before then, away to Empoli on Monday night.

Updated: September 09, 2022, 9:13 AM
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