Jose Mourinho was given a standing ovation from Roma supporters despite being sent off for dissent during their Serie A clash against league leaders Napoli on Sunday evening.
The return to domestic action came after the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss watched his team get humiliated by Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League 6-1 on Thursday.
That was hardly idea preparation for the visit of Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli, who had won each of their opening eight league fixtures and were looking to go two points clear at the top.
During a tense opening period, former Inter Milan boss Mourinho was booked for his actions, and saw yellow again in the second-half before giving a sarcastic thumbs up to the official.
Having seen red for dissent, many of the home support stood to applaud the legendary boss despite their disappointing recent European result – but they do sit fourth in the league table.
Following their recent drubbing in Norway, a fuming Mourinho slammed his players.
He said: “They have more quality than us. Their first team is a much better team than our second team.
“It’s my mistake. I wanted to rest players after the game against Juventus and before the game against Napoli.
“I made these decisions, and in the end, they are better players than my players. They are a better team than my team. Of course, the 6-1 could be five, could be seven, could be eight.
“The game went in a direction where you lose complete control of emotions, of everything. The reality of the game is that the best team won with the best players.
“The only thing I can say is that I tried to do it with good intentions, to rest my players for the next game, but we were punished by that. They are better than us.”
After which Roma chief Tiago Pinto hit out at the media by saying: “It is from September 1 that you have been trying to create some confrontation between Mourinho and myself.
“You did not accurately report the comments made by the coach. When we talk about the lack of options, the reference is to the age of the players and their experience.
“Clearly, if we want to make comparisons with Inter or Juventus, they have a different project in place and are playing in the Champions League.
“That doesn’t mean we are not united in our vision. You have been asking the same questions since September 1 and trying to create a problem that doesn’t exist.”