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Jose Mourinho demands Sunderland star Luke O’Nien sent off in pre-season friendly, as Roma boss enters the pitch after being angered by tough challenges


When Jose Mourinho is in the dug out there is usually some sort of drama.

And the Roma manager’s side’s friendly against Sunderland in Portugal was no exception as he charged on to the pitch to try to get Black Cats player Luke O’Nien sent off.

Mourinho entered the field after his player was on the receiving end of a late tackle from O’Nien

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Mourinho entered the field after his player was on the receiving end of a late tackle from O’Nien

The Roma boss clearly wanted the Sunderland star to get a harsher punishment

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The Roma boss clearly wanted the Sunderland star to get a harsher punishment

And even had a discussion with Sunderland manager Alex Neil, which led to O’Nien being taken off

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And even had a discussion with Sunderland manager Alex Neil, which led to O’Nien being taken off

The two sides met in Albufeira as part of their pre-season tours, with Europa Conference League winners taking on a side that were on a high after finally escaping League One last season.

The opening stages of the game were relatively quiet, but as the game passed the half hour mark, Mourinho sprung into life.

In the 34th minute, midfielder O’Nien was booked for a mistimed late challenge on Stephan El Shaarawy in the middle of the park, adding to the Black Cats’ list of slightly overly-fiery challenges.

He then caught another player with a flailing arm and Mourinho had clearly seen enough, coming onto the pitch and arguing that O’Nien deserved to see red.

You’d be forgiven for forgetting this game was a friendly.

But after a lengthy stop in play, Black Cats boss Alex Neil then diplomatically substituted O’Nien off just before half-time.

Neil later revealed the referee had requested he sub O’Nien.

He sad: “Luke was unfortunate. He went up for a header and caught the lad with his arm, which I didn’t think was meant. I thought it was a bit of an overreaction.

“But the referee informed me that if we didn’t take him off, he would be sent off.”

Sunderland managed to keep the Serie A side at bay until the 70th minute, when they conceded two quick fire goals thanks to efforts from Roma’s Felix Afena-Gyan and Nicolo Zaniolo.

The match also featured some familiar faces, including Nemanja Matic, who signed for Roma after leaving Manchester United this summer – the third time he’s been recruited by Mourinho.

Meanwhile, Giallorossi star and former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham was there, but didn’t feature.

And although they fell to defeat, the Black Cats and O’Nein aren’t likely to forget the first-half drama that saw their long-serving midfielder trigger The Special One.

Matic managed to keep O’Nien at bay at least…

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Matic managed to keep O’Nien at bay at least…




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