Jose Mourinho reverted to the dark arts to help Roma earn a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina as Romelu Lukaku was sent off for a horror tackle in the closing stages. The Chelsea loanee found the net after just five minutes to hand Roma an early lead but Lucas Martinez Quarta equalised for the visitors just after the hour mark.
The hot-tempered affair saw three red cards dished out by the referee, with two of them going to Roma as the game descended into chaos. Nicola Zelewski was dismissed for his second booking just two minutes before Quarta’s leveller in a moment that turned the balance of the match on its head.
Lukaku then went from hero to zero when he was shown a straight red card in the 87th minute for a flying studs-up challenge on Fiorentina ace Christian Kouame. The 30-year-old got nowhere near the ball with his wild lunge, which ultimately forced Roma to see out the rest of the game with just nine players.
Mourinho reacted in typical fashion by reverting to the dark arts, with Roma digging their heels in to avoid being punished by Fiorentina’s numerical advantage. He was exposed by the TV cameras when he was spotted writing one of his notes before passing it to a ball boy, who then appeared to hand it to Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
The Portuguese boss also refused to give any interviews or conduct his usual post-match media duties after the final whistle, according to Football Italia. It was said that he simply walked through the media zone and saluted Fiorentina head coach Vincenzo Italiano before walking away.
It comes after a turbulent few days for Mourinho, who landed himself in hot water with his comments before Roma’s victory over Sassuolo last weekend. He questioned the emotional state of referee Matteo Marcenaro, admitting he was ‘worried’ about having the official in charge of his side for the match.
“To be honest, I will say that I am worried about the referee,” said Mourinho at his pre-match press conference. “We had this official three times and I don’t think he has the emotional stability to work at this level.”
The FIGC quickly opened an investigation into Mourinho’s remarks and he was ordered into a meeting with prosecutor Giuseppe Chine to explain his comments on Friday, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The report adds that he has been co-operating with the investigation but could still face a ban as part of a plea bargain.