It was a frustrating night for Henrikh Mkhitaryan on Sunday, as he saw a goal disallowed in an eventual 0-0 draw with Sassuolo.
A first-half red card for Pedro further complicated Roma’s afternoon, although it looked like victory would still be possible when the Armenian fired home minutes later.
VAR had something to say about that, however, and in the end the two sides were forced to share the spoils.
“We were playing well from the first minute, we were passionate and we did well with the ball,” Mkhitaryan said afterwards, Roma’s official website reports.
“It was not an easy game, because we know the opponent is really good and are good on the ball. I think the red card gave us a disadvantage but we were trying to do our best in the second half.
“I think we showed we are capable of creating chances and play well and could have won – I’m frustrated that we couldn’t win today but that’s football. Now we have to keep our head up and focus on the next game.”
Refereeing decisions were a key topic in the aftermath, with Mkhitaryan admitting to some annoyance.
“I don’t want to speak about the referee, because it doesn’t make sense,” he said.
“I just want to speak about the episodes. Everyone has eyes and they can see from the episodes what was right and what was wrong. We were doing our job, even if after the first half we were a bit angry because of the red card and decisions that were made, and in the second half we tried to keep calm and keep our head because we knew we had 45 minutes to go and we were up against a good team.
“So I think we played really well in the second half, but unfortunately we weren’t able to score.”
Nevertheless it was another positive performance for Mkhitaryan, who has been almost ever-present so far this term after some injury problems throughout his first campaign in the Italian capital.
“Thankfully from the beginning of the season – and even longer – I have been fit and well,” Mkhitaryan noted.
“I’m training hard and doing my best to be fit and ready for every game and even this one, I knew it would be hard physically and mentally after the first half, but I was ready for that. We didn’t give up and it was thanks to my teammates that we were able to achieve what we did today.
“Physically it was not an easy game, being one man down, but having a lot of space in front of me meant I had room to run into. That’s what happens when we believe in ourselves.”