Roma manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that he has had the fortunes of playing in more prestigious finals but getting into the finals of the Europa Conference League is special due to the special atmosphere at the club. The Italian club secured a 2-1 aggregate victory over Leicester on Thursday.
Leicester City faced a tough test in Italy as they encountered Roma in the second leg of their semi-final tie in the Europa Conference League. The 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium meant that both teams would have to battle it out at the Italian club’s turf. The Italian side made the best possible start to the game as Tammy Abraham rose highest to head in Lorenzo Pellegrini’s corner in the 11th minute.
The Foxes tried to hit back with purpose and James Maddison had the perfect opportunity to level matters in stoppage time of the first half as he collected a pass but was unable to guide his effort home. Roma held on with discipline to see out the game and secure their place in the finals in May.
The victory guarantees that this would be Jose Mourinho’s fifth European finals appearance over the span of two decades. The Giallorossi are set to face Feyenoord in the final and if they emerge victorious, Mourinho would become only the third coach to win three different UEFA competitions. The Portuguese coach expressed his happiness at guiding his side to a monumental final.
“I think our performance was extraordinary. Others might see it differently, but when your goalkeeper makes two saves over 120 minutes against a Premier League side with so much attacking quality, it means we’ve done something good. I’ve had the fortune to play in bigger and more prestigious finals than this one. But in terms of the way we’ve created a family atmosphere here, it makes me feel special,” Mourinho told reporters after the game.
“Over the years I’ve become less egocentric and more like a father. Every club that I coached I made a final. That’s good,” he added.