Last Update 18:5
Thursday, 14 November 2019

We lost our heads but have to believe, says Roma coach Di Francesco

Reuters , Wednesday 25 Apr 2018
Di Francesco
Roma's Italian head coach Eusebio Di Francesco (L) reacts during the UEFA Champions League first leg semi-final football match between Liverpool and Roma at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on April 24, 2018 AFP
Views: 1704
Views: 1704

AS Roma's coach Eusebio Di Francesco said they lost their heads in the 5-2 defeat by Liverpool in their Champions League, semi-final, first-leg at Anfield on Tuesday but added that his team had to believe they could turn the tie around.

"We had an excellent start but then we lost our heads and the ability to stay in the game and so we got ourselves into difficulty," he told reporters.

"We really weren't good for 50 minutes and we lost all the challenges and duels and couldn't even make simple five yard passes," said the Italian whose team had been 5-0 down.

But two goals in the final nine minutes - an Edin Dzeko strike and a Diego Perotti penalty -- gave Roma hope they could make an unlikely comeback at the Stadio Olimpico next Wednesday.

Di Francesco's side had lost their quarter-final first leg 4-1 at Barcelona but advanced with a 3-0 win at home where they have not conceded a goal in this season's Champions League.

"We have to believe for the return game. You have to believe because in football everything is possible, even if it will not be easy," said Di Francesco.

"I don't want to hear about 'miracles' because it is about believing in your work and what we do. It is going to be different from the Barca game, it will be tougher. But whoever doesn't believe should stay at home," he added.

Roma full-back Alessandro Florenzi said Liverpool had been close to finishing off the contest but the door was now open for a battle in the Italian capital.

"We lost our way after the opening half-hour and were practically dead, but they didn’t kill us off completely. With heart, grit and pride we were able to re-open a tie that had seemed finished," he said.

"I can promise the fans that we’ll spit blood for this jersey and will play a very different match next week."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook atAhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.