Published on: 31 August 2022

Jose Mourinho was in an expansive mood after watching his side move to the top of the fledgling Serie A standings with a 3-0 win over Monza on Tuesday night.

Paulo Dybala grabbed his first two goals for the club to propel the Giallorossi towards their third win from their opening four league matches, as Roger Ibanez rounded off the scoring midway through the second half.

Here's what Mourinho had to say to television broadcasters DAZN after the contest.

Paulo Dybala wouldn’t tell us what you told him when you took him off…

“Last year against Juve, when he was substituted [for them] then I told him he was a decent player. Today I told him the same thing and we both laughed – we both remembered that a few months back he was scoring for the other side.”

Maybe this Roma side are showing signs of improvement?

“In terms of the comfort of the final scoreline, maybe, but the game itself was harder than that suggests. They caused us some problems in possession and we had to change the way we pressed. They are an interesting side that will definitely pick up points this season, especially when they get a few of the injured players back. They could have scored a couple tonight.

“But, sure, the team looked balanced and comfortable. In a lot of positions I can now rotate players. Rick Karsdorp was on the bench tonight and Celik played; when Nicola Zalewski went off, Leonardo Spinazzola came on.”

Roma seemed calm and didn’t ever get worried. Roger Ibanez grew in confidence as the game went on too.

“Ibanez is improving at a great rate. I agree with your analysis and I am happy you are talking about Roger. He’s a boy who has improved massively compared to a year ago. On the ball he’s much calmer; he can find different passes and he’s not limited to the obvious move. He’s really, really good.

“But with your permission I will talk about someone that no-one is talking about tonight: Tammy Abraham. Today he played how I wanted him too. Today he was my Tammy. He won everything, he kept the ball, he provided an outlet, he won the first ball and he gave us an option in behind to push them back. We always talk about strikers when they score and obviously tonight was Paulo’s night, but Tammy was amazing.

“And with Tammy and Belotti and Eldor Shomurodov, who now can feel a little calmer… before there was a lot going on for him.”

Dybala seems to have gone about settling into the group in a very humble way…

“In the other games he couldn’t quite pull off the things he wanted to at times but he never showed the wrong attitude. Great. For me, there can be times when a talented player helps his side but he’s also a bit isolated from it. But with us Paulo is a great talent who also plays for and with the team. Right now, when it comes to the defensive side of the game, he’s doing a great job for us – and that’s not something that he was born to do.

“When he came off today he said to me, ‘Boss, if I carried on I would have got my third.' I told him: ‘Get it against Udinese instead!’ It’s important to manage him a bit because he has had a bit of bad luck with injuries in the past and he did not play a huge amount last season. Right now his levels are improving.

“For us he’s great and I can already see what is going to happen in Qatar … maybe the Argentina coach should offer us a bottle of wine…”

(Photo LaPresse)