Cape Town - Roma
manager Eusebio Di Francesco slammed the referee after his side were
thrashed 4-1 by Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions
Own-goals from Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas gave Barcelona a
two-goal lead on Wednesday before Gerard Pique made it 3-0 just before
the hour mark.
Edin Dzeko pulled one back for the Giallorossi in the 80th minute but
Luis Suarez made it 4-1 for the Catalans to give them a commanding lead
heading into the second leg in Rome.
Di Francesco admits his side made too many mistakes, but also
believes the referee should have given his team two penalties in the
first half. Referee Danny Makkelie saw Nelson Semedo's challenge on
Dzeko in the ninth minute as legal, and determined that Samuel Umtiti's
foul on Lorenzo Pellegrini was outside the area.
"It's going to be very difficult to qualify from here but it would be
less difficult if the referee hadn't helped them, especially with the
big decisions," Di Francesco said in his post-game news conference.
"But we made mistakes and we made it easy for them, which you can't
do against Barca. Daniele [De Rossi] has made a mistake, which can
happen, then [Kostas] Manolas was unfortunate with the second own goal.
"Evidently that's our fault, but Barca are good enough without help
from the officials. Semedo on Dzeko is a clear penalty and then later
there's another on Pellegrini."