Jose Mourinho says he was “humble enough to apologise” to referee Antonio Rapuano after accepting he deserved his latest red card in Roma’s late 1-1 draw with Torino.
Roma head coach Mourinho was sent to the stands in the 88th minute with his side a goal down for repeatedly protesting decisions made by the official in Sunday’s fiery contest.
Mourinho watched on from the Stadio Olimpico stands as Nemanja Matic rescued a point with a 94th-minute goal – Roma’s latest at home in the league in 12 years.
The 59-year-old is no stranger to being given his marching orders and did not react kindly to being banished from the sidelines, but he later held his hands up for his actions.
“It was the right decision – my words to the referee deserved a red card,” he told DAZN. “I spoke to him after and apologised, but I don’t want to talk about his performance.
“I was humble enough to apologise, but I will leave his performance and the hypothetical influence on the match to you.
“I don’t want to talk about what we said, that was private. My words deserved a red card, but I will not judge the referee’s performance.”
Matic’s dramatic late leveller came immediately after substitute Paulo Dybala had hit the frame of the goal, while former Torino striker Andrea Belotti missed an injury-time penalty just moments earlier in an exciting end to the contest.
Mourinho’s side enter the World Cup break seventh in Serie A after winning just one of their past five matches.
The 10 points the Giallorossi have collected from their opening seven home league games this term is their lowest return since the 2005-06 season, when accruing eight.
Roma’s disappointing form has coincided with Dybala’s month-long absence from the side, with the Argentina international making a difference on his return against Torino.
“There are two games tonight – one until the 70th minute and one after,” Mourinho said. “Until the 70th, Roma fans wanted to just go home.
“But in the final 20 minutes we created more, perhaps more than we have done in the last four or five games. Why? Easy, because Dybala came on.
“When you have a player like Paulo and he doesn’t play, it’s different. How many extra points would we have now if Dybala hadn’t been injured?
“The break is coming up, it will be the right moment for certain players to look at themselves and try a little self-criticism.
“Despite all these problems, we are a united group. A team that misses a penalty at the 92nd minute is usually dead, but not us, we kept going.”
Roma host Bologna on their return to action on January 4, before travelling to reigning champions Milan four days later.