Cape Town - AS Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco paid
tribute to the spirit of his team after they beat Liverpool 4-2 in the
Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday but lost a gripping
tie 7-6 on aggregate.
Roma defeated Barcelona 3-0 at home to
overturn a 4-1 first-leg deficit in the quarterfinals but two late goals
by Radja Nainggolan were not enough to cap another successful comeback.
year we did something truly extraordinary," Di Francesco told
reporters. "I’m a little angry and I keep going over it. What more could
we have been done?
"Liverpool did not rob us of anything. They played like a great team... The team that won, won on the details."
The tie produced the most goals in a Champions League semi-final following Liverpool's 5-2 victory in the first leg.
should be more games like this one," Di Francesco said. "It was very
impressive coming to the stadium tonight and seeing all the people. I’m
sorry we couldn’t give them a truly magic evening. Even after the first
half, I was convinced we could get them in the second half."
Roma fell behind to an early goal by Liverpool's Sadio Mane but equalised through a fortunate own goal from James Milner.
Wijnaldum put the Premier League side back ahead on the night but Roma,
needing four goals to level the tie, fought back in the second half
through Edin Dzeko and Nainggolan's late double.
It was not quite
enough to send Roma through to their first European Cup final since 1984
when they lost to Liverpool in their own stadium.
"I’m very happy with the growth of the mentality of the team," Di Francesco said.