That was Lo Celso’s third goal of the season following a brace in the 7-2 thrashing of Maccabi Haifa in the play-off round, while an all-action display on his fifth start of 2020/21 showed that the 24-year-old is beginning to get back to the form of last season.
However, Lo Celso has still only started one Premier League fixture this season after struggling with a hamstring injury and Mourinho was honest in his assessment of the player’s fitness after that win in Bulgaria.
“Good with the ball and not very good without the ball. His physical condition is not good. He didn’t have a pre-season,” Mourinho said, per Sky Sports.
“During the lockdown during the previous season he had problems – he didn’t train in that period when other guys were training so he has been up and down in his preparation. So he’s been coming now, step by step.
“I feel that when he plays he’s not the Gio that we know, not the Gio that we know that he can be an amazing player.
“But with the ball of course great criteria and he knows what he’s doing of course, and understands the way we want to play. But we need more intensity to be fitter, to be more intense and to be stronger in the transitions.
“But of course he played more than an hour, and for that hour of course was a football match that we needed to win but it was also let’s say a training session to improve his match fitness.”
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