Radja Nainggolan said Roma “wanted it more and really deserved” to knock Barcelona out of the Champions League quarter-finals.
The 4-1 first leg defeat seemed to put the tie out of reach, but an epic 3-0 victory at the Olimpico sent the Giallorossi through to their first European Cup semi-final since 1984.
“The 3-0 was incredible, but if you watch the two legs, we wanted it more and really deserved to go through,” Nainggolan told Roma TV.
The Belgium international was injured for the first leg, but played a pivotal role as a trequartista this evening.
“We scored three important goals against a side that has won so much in recent years. Tonight everything was fantastic, from the stadium to the atmosphere around us. We believed.
“Few gave us a chance of going through the moment the draw was made, but seeing the unfair result of the first leg, we had to believe, because we had nothing to lose.
“We got the 1-0 early, then more chances and our confidence grew. I am happy for the squad, because people called us losers, so this just fires us up.”
Eusebio Di Francesco surprised everyone with a 3-4-1-2 system, using Nainggolan in the hole behind Edin Dzeko and Champions League debutant Patrik Schick.
“The Coach wanted to change some things to ensure Barcelona couldn’t play their way out of defence. It was the perfect game and we took many of our chances too.”
Roma are in the semi-finals with Liverpool, who beat Premier League leaders Manchester City home and away, so can they target the Final now?
“We’ve got to continue the work we’re doing and it doesn’t hurt to dream. Every game is difficult, but now that we’ve eliminated Barcelona, the other sides will start to fear us too.”
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