Friday, May 19, 2023 at 8:37 AM• Jordi Tomasowa • Last update: 08:51

At Bayer Leverkusen, after the elimination in the semi-finals of the Europa League, frustration prevails. AS Roma won 1-0 against Leverkusen in Italy last week, so a goalless draw at the BayArena was enough for the Italians to reach the final. José Mourinho finally succeeded with Roma in defending this lead from the first leg in Germany at all costs. Afterwards, several Leverkusen players spoke shame of Mourinho’s style of play.

The Werkself also failed to find a hole in Roma’s defense during the return. The home team failed to express the dominance in possession (72 percent) in the score. Leverkusen scored no less than 23 attempts on goal, Roma got no further than 1 shot, which did not go on target. Especially in the last half hour, Mourinho’s team caused great frustration for Leverkusen by frequently stretching time.

“It is a pity that in a semi-final at such a high level, a style of play like this can be rewarded,” said Kerem Demirbay at RTL. “This is sour, very sour. Also for football. But we have to congratulate our opponent. They achieved their goal in a disgusting way. I am honestly proud of the group.”

His teammate Nadiem Amiri also couldn’t resist expressing his frustration. “Mentally I’m in the pit right now. We didn’t deserve to be eliminated by a team that has nothing to do with football. I really wonder how this is possible. How they played today and last week… Every ball went long. That’s not football, is it? That such a team is in the final is madness.”

Sporting director Simon Rolfes of Leverkusen also expressed his annoyance about Roma’s style of play afterwards. “After every shot on goal, there was another player on the ground who had to be taken away on a stretcher because they were so badly injured. I think everyone who was in the stadium today wishes good luck to Sevilla in the final. It is sad that this way of playing leads to success.”