Jose Mourinho has branded the quality of the match officials for Roma's clash with Lazio as "not at the right level" after his side were edged in a five-goal thriller in Serie A on Sunday.
The Portuguese saw his side fight back from a two-goal deficit twice in pursuit of a share of the points, only to fall 3-2 against Maurizio Sarri's side in the Rome derby.
Across a typically feisty encounter, referee Marco Guida dished out six bookings - but speaking afterwards, Mourinho stated that he felt the match was undone by his grip on the whistle.
What has been said?
“Unfortunately, a fantastic game was ruined by the referee and VAR, who were not at the right level for this match," the veteran manager told DAZN in his comments at full-time.
“The second goal could’ve been 1-1, it went to 2-0. The [lack of a] second yellow for Lucas Leiva was important too. I think my team was the best on the field today.
“We dominated, we gave Lazio huge problems, they controlled the final minutes the way they wanted to, and because the referee allowed them to do so.”
Mourinho hails 'improved' quality
Despite his criticism of the referee, the former Inter boss was quick to highlight the improvement of Serie A since his last tenure in Italy.
"Italian football has improved a great deal from [a decade] ago," the 58-year-old added. "The quality of football, the attacking approach, the desire to win, has all improved."
The bigger picture
The loss against Lazio hands Roma their second defeat in their last three league games, which has checked their stride as they attempt to keep pace with the summit.
They trail both Inter and AC Milan, plus Napoli, but will turn their immediate attention back towards Europe ahead of their return to continental action.
The Giallorossi will travel to Zorya Luhansk this week in the Europa Conference League as they look to back up their 5-1 drubbing of CSKA Sofia.