Sergio Oliveira struck the winner before the Portuguese midfielder was later sent off for a second yellow card and will be suspended for the second leg along with Gianluca Mancini.
“I will admit, we did not deserve to go into the break 1-0 up," confessed Mourinho to Sky Italia.
“We didn't do anything to score that goal, we had problems and were fortunate, but we did much better in the second half. Defensively we controlled well, it was a really difficult match.
“When you don't have a pure creative midfielder, you need to try different dynamics. Veretout and Sergio didn't control the midfield well today, but the second half was different. I am not saying Cristante is better than Veretout, just that the team worked better.
“It was difficult for Veretout to get past his man, the same for Maitland-Niles, so Rick Karsdorp did better. I never got the feeling in the second half that we would concede, whereas at half-time I was more than happy to go in at 1-0."
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