Tuesday December 5 2017
EDF: 'People assumed Roma were out'

Eusebio Di Francesco finds Roma topping the Champions League group “satisfying because everyone assumed we’d be eliminated” by Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.

Tonight’s 1-0 victory over Qarabag, along with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, means the Giallorossi reach the Last 16 as group winners.

“It was a great victory, a difficult one, especially as I have no Champions League experience,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“It’s satisfying because nobody believed we could qualify at all, they assumed we’d be eliminated, but we worked hard, proved ourselves and won the group.

“It all started with the opening 0-0 against Atletico Madrid, when we’d just started and were finding our feet, but we suffered and held out for what proved to be a decisive point.”

Diego Perotti broke down Qarabag with a header from close range on the rebound from Edin Dzeko’s parried effort.

“I asked my lads to push forward off the ball in the second half, because if we kept passing it to feet, we wouldn’t move as much.

“After the break the team certainly expressed itself better, but we got a little nervous at the end, perhaps because Roma are unaccustomed to succeeding in Europe. I want my teams to always go for another goal, no matter the situation, and possession for its own sake is not interesting to me.

“What I tried to do was get into the heads of the players, I think I did that, but I’m not settling now. We can do better. I always keep a positive attitude, both on and off the field.”

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