Jose Mourinho agrees with Leicester City fans on Europa Conference League jibe
Roma manager Jose Mourinho said the quality of the first leg against Leicester City on Thursday night was a “credit” to the new Europa Conference League competition.
City came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw with the Italian giants at a bustling King Power Stadium, thanks to an own goal from Gianluca Mancini, who came under pressure from Ademola Lookman. The second-half equalizer came after Lorenzo Pellegrini put Roma ahead in the 15th minute.
The draw means the semi-final is now played entirely on next week’s second leg in Rome. The winners of the draw will face Marseille or Feyenoord in the final in Albania.
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“No one would believe it’s the Conference League,” Mourinho said in his post-match interview with BT Sport. “(It’s a) credit to the competition to have a game of this level, with teams of this level, a referee of this level. I think the game was too good to be the Conference League.
The eventual winners of the tournament will become the first team to lift the trophy in its inaugural season. The introduction of the competition, which City fell into after failing to qualify from the Europa League group stages, has been criticized by some pundits.
Former Villa man Gabriel Agbonlahor did not hold back in his views ahead of Thursday’s clash, which predicted there wouldn’t be much celebration for the winners. But the comments prompted a backlash from City fans, who agree with Mourinho on the inaugural competition.
Shepshed KDB : It’s a European trophy with classy teams. What planet do you live on?
Ed Langley : It’s lazy and apparently “cool” to criticize the conference league. However, it gave me the chance to travel for 3 away matches to cities and towns in Europe where I have never been before, that means our team played Napoli, Rennes, Roma and created a chance to dream. What’s wrong with that?
Michael Hubbard : In 2009 we were promoted from the premier league…..if you ask, fans would love to win a European trophy only 13 years later, the answer is still YES.
NH : I don’t see how fans of clubs outside the big 6 can despise the conference league. we played in Rennes, PSV, then Roma and potentially Marseille.
Topless Tom : From a player who never even approached an opportunity. European competition is great anyway. The standard in the conference league against Europe is also higher. Look at the teams in both!
Sam Newton : I will be in Rome next Thursday. Believe me if we succeed I will go crazy and look forward to a trip to Albania. Just watch the match against PSV to see what it means for the players.