Rather us recapping Roma's shocking defeat at the hands of bottom-dwelling Cremonese, let's turn it back to elementary school and do some fill-in-the-blanks.
For the ___________ time since 1927, Roma dropped points to a ________________ side, costing them a chance at the ___________________. This loss makes me feel_________________, so much so that I want to go outside and smash a ______________________ on the pavement. If only the Giallorossi were more __________________, they wouldn't ____________________ all the fucking time.
Okay, enough fun and games. Once again, the mighty wolves of Rome laid an egg against a lowly opponent, completely erasing whatever goodwill they accrued after consecutive wins over Hellas Verona and Red Bull Salzburg.
After conceding a 17th-minute goal to Frank Tsadjout, José Mourinho's men did well to stop the bleeding and even had a chance to save face after Leonardo Spinazzola equalized in the 71st minute. However, it all came crashing down when Cremonese was awarded a late penalty after Rui Patricio clipped David Okereke in the 83rd minute, paving the way for Daniel Ciofani's match-winner.
Following such an embarrassing defeat, it would have been easy for Mourinho to hide behind a wall of well-worn platitudes (or even to just hide, full stop), so let's give The Special One credit for facing the music, even if he did threaten litigation against the fourth official.
In case you missed it, here are some of the best bits from Mourinho's post-match presser. Translations via Football Italia.
On why his side lost:
The excuse of fatigue will not fly...We were a little unlucky, conceding two goals on their one and a half chances. The responsibility is ours. We lacked intensity, should’ve killed off the game straight away.
“It is certainly not true that one team wanted it more than the other tonight. Roma players always want to win. The sensation is that they were playing the game of a lifetime, though. It was not a game we deserved to win, but we didn’t deserve to lose either.
“After the equaliser, we all thought that the winning goal would come, but instead it was their penalty.”
On his sudden beef with the fourth official:
“I am emotional, but not crazy. In order to react the way I did, something had to happen first. I need to understand if I can take any legal action. Piccinini gave me a red card, because unfortunately the fourth official does not have the capacity to understand what he said to me.
“I want to find out if there is an audio recording. I don’t want to get into the fact that Serra is from Turin and on Sunday we are playing against Juventus.
“For the first time in my career, a fourth official spoke to me in the most incredible way. It was unjustifiable. At the end of the game, I went to speak to them. Piccinini, who was the fourth official in the last game when I was sent off, told me to apologise to Serra. I told Serra he should have the courage to explain what happened, but he had memory problems.”
On what this defeat means for Roma's Champions League chances:
“The last thing I said to the players was to imagine this was the last game of the season: if we lose or draw, we go into the Europa League, if we win it’s the Champions League. We did not win.”
The race for the top four remains wide open, but Mourinho seems more focused on his row with the fourth official.
“I am taking it one game at a time. I cannot leave this game behind now, I cannot even think about Sunday. There is frustration, which obliges me to analyse.
“It is a pity this thing happened with Serra: I respect someone as much as they respect me.”
As much as this defeat stings, there's really no use dwelling on it. If you've followed Roma for any decent amount of time, you knew this was coming. Whether it was Siena, Spezia, Cluj, Bodø/Glimt, or your local U-15s, Roma just can't seem to kick this habit: they continually sink to the level of their opponent at the worst possible moments.
And it won't get any easier next month as Roma faces Juventus, Real Sociedad (twice), Sassuolo, and Lazio in a matter of 14 days.
Hope isn't lost, but the margins for error are practically non-existent from here on out.