Jose Mourinho takes Roma star off with 10 minutes to go despite using all subs

Jose Mourinho told Roma’s star signing Houssem Aouar to leave the pitch despite having no available substitutes – for two good reasons.

The Serie A outfit were taking on Albanian outfit Partizani Tirana in their final pre-season friendly a week before their domestic opener, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Stephan El Shaarawy and Andrea Belotti.

Despite not having a man dismissed, Moutinho opted to play with 10 men for the final 12 minutes in a bid to both protect former Lyon man Aouar ahead of the new season, as well as levelling the playing field.

Tirana had been reduced to 10 men after their coaching team accidentally tried to bring on a player that had already been subbed off – with the referee blocking it and not allowing a reprieve.

Aouar, 25, was just as confused by the decision as the fourth official, but Mourinho was firm in his stance and the game continued with 20 players on the pitch.

Mourinho chose to stay at Roma by rejecting two offers from the Saudi Pro League, aiming to improve on their 6th place finish from last season.

The 60-year-old also lost a European final for the first time on penalties at the hands of Sevilla in the Europa League, costing his side a Champions League berth.

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The former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss said this summer: “I’ve received two proposals: Al Hilal and Al Ahli wanted me, I decided to turn both down as I want to stay at Roma.”

Mourinho was up to his old tricks last season and was handed a lengthy ban following a rant at referee Anthony Taylor.

Back in June, Mourinho was charged by UEFA, with his punishment of a four game ban in European competition to include the majority of the Europa League group stage games this season.

Mourinho, who had won his previous five finals in Europe, continued his criticism of the officials post-match.

He said: “I need to defend my lads, and I must say that we are used to it, but still seeing this kind of refereeing in a European final is really, really hard.

“It was an intense, vibrant game with a referee who seemed Spanish. It was yellow, yellow, yellow all the time.”

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