AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco felt that his player were “easy to read” against Liverpool, but is confident that they can pull off another epic comeback in the return leg
The Giallorossi travelled to Anfield on Tuesday night for the first leg of their semi-final clash against Liverpool with Roma making their first appearance at this stage of the Champions League since 1984.
However, the Italian side had their naively high defensive line repeatedly breached by the hosts with Liverpool scoring five goals unanswered in the opening 68 minutes of the match.
But Roma was given hope when Edin Dzeko scored with an assist from Radja Nainggolan and then Diego Perotti scored a penalty to give the visitors two precious away goals.
“We started well tonight, but then we lost a lot of the duels – especially on balls that were easy to read,” admitted Di Francesco, according to the club website.
“We lost our heads and our ability to stay in the game a bit.”
In the last knockout stage, Roma pulled off a remarkable comeback against Barcelona with the Serie A side losing the first leg 4-1 and then winning 3-0 at their Stadio Olimpico to progress from the tie on away goals.
“Of course, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth playing. Anything can happen in football – nothing is impossible. We’ve proved that, but obviously, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be a different game to the Barcelona match, but we have the desire to turn it around. It’s no use criticising the team – we’ve achieved something really impressive but for 50 minutes we didn’t have the impact we wanted in the game tonight.” said Di Francesco.
“We have to have the desire to turn it around and it’s important we keep believing until the end – I have total belief. You can’t just give in during a game – especially in this type of competition. Sometimes you take a few hits, but the team wasn’t able to stay in the game and at times we lost a bit of unity. I want to see a team with more determination in the return leg.”