Champions League

Di Francesco promises different Roma in return leg

2018-04-25 07:46
Eusebio Di Francesco (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco said he remains optimistic for the return leg despite seeing his Roma side suffer a 5-2 defeat in their Champions League semi-final match at Anfield on Tuesday.

Although disappointed with his side’s showing, the Italian vowed to put on a "very different" display in the return match at the Stadio Olimpico next week.

Roma surprised many earlier this month when they recovered from a 4-1 first-leg deficit to defeat Barcelona 3-0 and go through on away goals in the quarter-finals.

"We said before the Barcelona game that we believed totally in our chances and I say the same now," Di Francesco told reporters.

"The team today lost its confidence too much and got totally disbanded, but that shouldn't happen, it doesn't matter how many setbacks there are or goals conceded.

"We will see a very different Roma in the second leg. If you lose numerous duels around the pitch, you're going to lose the game. If we got here it's because we fought and won duels against many very talented players.

"If the opposition has the ball and is preparing a pass, you can't just stand there and wait for it to come in, especially when it's an easy enough situation to read. We made it easy for them."

Di Francesco also denied that his 3-5-2 formation had allowed Liverpool to get on top early, blaming their troubles on his team's inability to retain possession.

"We had that system in the first 20 minutes, when it was very even, so that wasn't the issue," Di Francesco said. "We continued to lose every one-on-one situation and give the ball away very cheaply.

"I don't want to see anyone on trial now, as preparing games on paper is not the same thing and tactics become relative if we can't keep the ball or make a simple pass.

"Their attacking moves almost all happened when we lost the ball. If they allowed us some three against three moves, it means we have the quality. Our centre-backs were caught when they should've turned and blocked. Losing all these duels showed we were a little below Liverpool in terms of physicality and pace."

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 01 October 2019
Atalanta v Shakhtar Donetsk, San Siro 18:55
Real Madrid v Club Brugge, Santiago Bernabeu 18:55
Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen, Allianz Stadium 21:00
Manchester City v Dinamo Zagreb, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid, Lokomotiv Stadium 21:00
Red Star Belgrade v Olympiacos, Stadion Rajko Mitic 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayern Munchen, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 21:00
Galatasaray v Paris SG, Turk Telekom Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 02 October 2019
Slavia Prague v Borussia Dortmund, Eden Arena 18:55
Genk v Napoli, Luminus Arena 18:55
Liverpool v Red Bull Salzburg, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Inter Milan, Camp Nou 21:00
Valencia v Ajax, Mestalla 21:00
RB Leipzig v Lyon, Red Bull Arena 21:00
Zenit St. Petersburg v Benfica, Saint Petersburg Stadium 21:00
Lille v Chelsea, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 21:00
Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Shakhtar Donetsk v Dinamo Zagreb, Metalist Stadium 18:55
Atletico Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen, Wanda Metropolitano 18:55
Juventus v Lokomotiv Moscow, Allianz Stadium 21:00
Manchester City v Atalanta, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Club Brugge v Paris SG, Jan Breydel Stadion 21:00
Olympiacos v Bayern Munchen, Karaiskakis Stadium 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Red Star Belgrade, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 21:00
Galatasaray v Real Madrid, Turk Telekom Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Ajax v Chelsea, Amsterdam ArenA 18:55
RB Leipzig v Zenit St. Petersburg, Red Bull Arena 18:55
Benfica v Lyon, da Luz 21:00
Slavia Prague v Barcelona, Eden Arena 21:00
Genk v Liverpool, Luminus Arena 21:00
Red Bull Salzburg v Napoli, Red Bull Arena 21:00
Inter Milan v Borussia Dortmund, San Siro 21:00
Lille v Valencia, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 21:00
Tuesday, 05 November 2019
Barcelona v Slavia Prague, Camp Nou 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v RB Leipzig, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Genk, Anfield 22:00
Lyon v Benfica, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Valencia v Lille, Mestalla 22:00
Napoli v Red Bull Salzburg, San Paolo 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Inter Milan, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Ajax, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 06 November 2019
Bayern Munchen v Olympiacos, Allianz Arena 19:55
Lokomotiv Moscow v Juventus, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Atalanta v Manchester City, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid, BayArena 22:00
Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk, Maksimir Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Club Brugge, Parc des Princes 22:00
Real Madrid v Galatasaray, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham Hotspur, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
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