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Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has been accused of being "obsessive" and showing a "lack of respect" in remarkable club statement released by Lazio.
Speaking after Sunday's goalless draw with Bologna which ended Roma's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, Mourinho expressed his frustrations and referenced Lazio's dramatic 4-3 win over Spezia on Saturday, in which Francesco Acerbi's winning goal may have been scored from an offside position.
"Another thing that never changes is that 22 years ago, you could win a match with a goal that is offside and you can still do it today," said Mourinho.
"Yesterday, a team won a match with a goal that was offside."
Lazio have now released a strongly-worded statement on their website in response to Mourinho's comments – hitting back at the Portuguese manager without directly naming him.
"The fact that in 2022, an opposing coach repeatedly mentions other clubs and presumed referee errors and that, at the same time, journalists of proven football faith get worked up about the same matter, forgetting about their professional role and impartiality, proves two things," read the statement.
"That Lazio is obsessively in their thoughts, more than other ambitious targets and that, as it usually happens, they look at someone else's home to divert attention from failings or incredible incidents, in their favour, that occurred under everyone's noses.
"Despite the necessity to evolve the image of Italian football, some protagonists are stuck to accusing VAR and referees and too many times, lack of respect towards officials and lack of journalistic objectivity aren't enough considered
"Lazio can't accept criticism and institutions and believe that values are proven on the pitch, not on TV. Lazio will never be the excuse for somebody else or a scapegoat and will take action in the appropriate forums.
"The club continue to avoid comments on decisions taken on the pitch, even when incidents against us occur.
"That's the case of Sandro Tonali's foul on Francesco Acerbi in Lazio vs Milan or Roger Ibanez's elbow on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the return leg derby, just to name two.
"Decisive episodes which we didn't comment on, out of respect for referees and VAR, respect that others don't have."
Lazio and Roma are now level on 59 points in the Serie A table, with three games remaining in the season.
Lazio are currently fifth, ahead of Roma on goal difference, with Fiorentina three points behind the two Rome clubs.
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