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Europa League: Roma Crash Out Of Europe

Luciano Spalletti believes Roma “deserved to go through” to the Europa League quarter-finals after losing 5-4 on aggregate to Lyon.

The first leg proved disastrous, as they went from 2-1 up to losing 4-2, so tonight’s 2-1 victory was not enough.

“There are never regrets. You go out, certainly over the two legs we went out because of some naïve errors and right now we don’t have the nous you need in these games that can give you a big advantage,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We lost our way in the second half out there after taking the lead. Tonight we lost possession at times and that wasted a lot of energy chasing the ball back down.

“Overall the team played very well and deserved more, for the attitude, for the number of chances created, because the fourth goal in France was offside. We deserved more for the way we controlled the game tonight.

“At the first Lyon free kick, there was a block and we lost our man to concede a goal. There were several naïve moments in various situations. I didn’t see a big difference between the teams.

“Out there we stopped playing at a certain stage and tonight we were unable to turn it around, despite giving everything we had in front of these wonderful fans.

“Maybe this is what we deserve, but it doesn’t seem right to me.”

Some of the star players failed to make an impact tonight, such as Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah.

“I think it’s pointless going over this. There are players who can have better or worse performances. As the other day I left out Salah and everyone complained, well tonight with his quality he could’ve done a lot better.

“Overall, the team deserved to go through to the quarter-finals. If we take into count everything that happened over the two games, Roma deserved to go through.

“Tonight the team did everything it was supposed to do. I could only find fault with a few situations, with some choices, some bad luck. After a game like that, it’d be a waste of time to go back over the first leg. We should build on this performance and know where to improve, as at times we’re not sharp enough.

“At times we look at the ball and players go – will you take it or will I? No, you have to say I am taking it, end of story. We lack that determination.

“If you look back over our defeats this season, we tended to get chunks of games wrong rather than entire performances. We occasionally lose our way and pay a heavy price for those distractions.”

Spalletti was asked what Roma needed to make that extra step up in future and if he would be the Coach working on it.

“This is a strong squad. At times it can be a bit naïve, in others it can’t find that nous it needs, but the quality is there. The material to work with is there and we’ll continue to do that to the end of the season.

“As for my own position, we’ve said the same thing so many times, there’s no point going over it again. It becomes boring.

“I will say one thing, seeing 10 Lyon players lying on the ground trying to waste time is frankly an ugly sight. In France they were never down, tonight they were visibly doing it on purpose. It was a really ugly sight.

“People complain about our referees, but it was obvious Lyon players should’ve been booked sooner for time-wasting. They were breaking up the tempo and stopping us from playing.”

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