New AS Roma head coach Jose Mourinho received a red card during an ill-tempered friendly between the Italian club and Spanish La Liga side Real Betis.
The Portuguese coach stormed onto the field to dispute the referee’s decision to send off one of his players and allow a Betis goal that was apparently scored on a hand ball.
Two more Roma players were later sent off, leaving Roma to finish the match with eight men in an eventual 5-2 defeat.
Lorenzo Pellegrini and José Mourinho are sent off after watching a Real Betis player score an allowed goal with his hand. pic.twitter.com/HI0K6kf0XP
— 🇮🇹 Lupo 🇮🇹 (@LupoASRoma) August 7, 2021
Why Mourinho was sent off
Roma and Betis were tied at 2-2 when Alex Moreno handed the Spanish side the lead in bizarre circumstances with just under an hour played.
Moreno pounced on a rebound off the Roma crossbar and slipped as he went for the ball near the goal line. He wound up on the ground, and bundled the ball over the line using an assorted selection of body parts.
One of those, Roma contended, was his left arm, and the referee’s refusal to disallow the effort caused the Italians to swarm around him; followed by Mourinho who hurried over to join the commotion.
Álex Moreno uses his arm to score 3-2 against Roma, the referee does not cancel the goal and Lorenzo Pellegrini and Mourinho are sent off due to the protests. Terrible arbitration.pic.twitter.com/K7bdQsRSIc
— zeynep (@zerecktors) August 7, 2021
Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini was sent off first, and then it was Mourinho’s turn after he entered the field of play. The ejections were the catalyst for a dramatic Roma collapse.
Gianluca Mancini and Rick Karsdop also saw red to leave the Italians with eight on the pitch, while Betis took full advantage to net two further goals and thrash their adversaries 5-2.
Incredibly, Saturday’s fracas was the third on-pitch confrontation Roma have sparked in their last two games, suggesting that a lot more fireworks can be expected once the real action begins.
Roma’s upcoming schedule
The club kicks off its new Serie A season on Sunday, Aug. 22 at home against Fiorentina, hoping to do better than its seventh-place finish last year.
The final preseason friendly match before the Italian season will take place on Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Stadio Olimpico against Moroccan side Raja Casablanca.
The 58-year-old Mourinho was announced as the new Roma coach in May, just one month after being let go by English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
He’s not new to Serie A, coaching Inter Milan over two seasons, including a memorable treble-winning season in which the team won the Serie A league title, the Italian Cup and the UEFA Champions League. It was the first time that an Italian team had accomplished the feat.