NEWS
Sunday April 22 2012
Luis Enrique explains Totti snub

Luis Enrique gave credit to Juventus and explained his decision to drop Francesco Totti, but acknowledged Roma’s “game was over after 10 minutes.”

The Giallorossi fell to a quick one-two from Arturo Vidal, then Andrea Pirlo scored the follow-up to a penalty after Maarten Stekelenburg’s dismissal for an eventual 4-0 defeat.

“After eight minutes we were 2-0 down with the only two chances. Juve are at a remarkable level this season, so the game was already over at that stage. When they went 3-0 up and we had a man down, it really was over,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“There was a big difference between the teams tonight and we compliment the Serie A leaders for their victory.”

Totti and Erik Lamela were surprisingly on the bench at the Juventus Stadium.

“I did not see it as a risk. Don’t forget Totti was playing in the Coppa Italia game here and we lost 3-0. It’s too easy to talk about decisions afterwards. Juventus have great quality and physicality, so I thought it was best to adopt a more physical approach and reserve Totti for the next game.

“We must already look ahead to Wednesday with Fiorentina and then Napoli. Every time a defeat like this happens, of course we are worried.

“It was a game that I thought required more stamina and strength, so I believed this was the right line-up for the occasion. After those first eight minutes, it made no difference who was on the pitch. We had two trequartisti, Fabio Borini and Miralem Pjanic.

“I have played a few games in my career and know intensity is crucial. It’s true we are struggling to find that intensity and tonight Juve were more intense. I don’t think we are four goals different to Juve, but tonight that was the case.

“Of course I will continue the same way. We know there are some bad defeats, but we have done some good things too and are still close to third place. Naturally every setback is a problem, but each game is very difficult to predict in Serie A.

“We still have three home games, plus trips to Cesena and Verona. We certainly have to improve away, but are doing a good job at the Olimpico and we’re up there.”

Luis Enrique was also shown footage of the incident in the final minutes. Stephan Lichtsteiner mocked Lamela by waving four fingers – a gesture famously done by Totti against Juventus some years ago – and the Roma player responded by spitting on his shoulder.

“It is ugly for me to see a player who is winning 4-0 to do that at this level, while it is also ugly for Lamela to spit.”

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