Rudi Garcia said Roma “can continue to dream” after beating Milan and Miralem Pjanic’s goal should be “enjoyed all over the planet.”
The Giallorossi have already set a new club record with 85 points, more than they had ever achieved in a single Serie A campaign, and temporarily cut the gap from Juventus down to five points.
“The first 15-20 minutes we made too many mistakes and moved the ball around very slowly, but we improved over the half,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia after a 2-0 result.
“There was that wonderful goal from Pjanic, at the break we told each other we’d have to start the second half in better shape, but to be honest I didn’t like the second half performance very much.”
Garcia was asked about Pjanic’s contract negotiations, but shrugged off the question.
“After this great victory, I prefer to talk only about beautiful football. I am happy, as we beat Fiorentina and Milan, two quality teams. Above all, we can continue to dream.
“We’ll see what Juventus do and it’ll be tough for them against Sassuolo, as this fixture is between the Europa League semi-finals. I know it’s always harder to play before or after a European game, so this time Juve have both!”
The midfield remains Roma’s great strength, as they rotate with Pjanic or Radja Nainggolan taking turns to push forward.
“Francesco Totti also comes back, so there are four midfielders at times. Adil Rami told me it’s very hard for defenders when they are facing us, as we give no reference points. Let’s also not forget we’re missing Kevin Strootman.
“The midfield is complementary and the heart of my football, especially as the full-backs have the opportunity to push forward and attack.
“Nainggolan has incredible pace and strength in his legs. He can still improve in terms of technique, but he knows how to play it simple. He is a very generous player who when feeling tired needs to play even more simple, we discussed that and I think he’ll improve in that sense.
“The Olimpico is fantastic when it’s like this and I saw so many smiles on the faces of the fans. They sang and cheered us on, which really influences the team.”
Pjanic broke the deadlock with a contender for Goal of the Season that has already gone viral, dribbling past three players to side-foot round Christian Abbiati.
“Normally a goal like this has to go round the world. If it’s a player like Maradona then it will, but Mire is a fantastic player and I hope everyone all over the planet can enjoy this goal.”
Garcia was interviewed straight after Mario Balotelli’s outburst to the pundits and stood up for the player.
“He was very courageous to come on television and respond to criticism, above all because those who play know it’s tough to talk after a defeat. I think he was courageous.”