Saturday April 21 2018
Manolas: 'First Messi, now Salah'

Kostas Manolas credits Coach Eusebio Di Francesco and assures Roma “stopped Leo Messi, so we can stop Mohamed Salah” and Liverpool.

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Their minds are undoubtedly already on Anfield in Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final and it was Manolas who scored the decisive late header to beat Barcelona 3-0 in the quarter-final.

“I’ve seen that moment back many times, but above all straight after the game. However, it’s time to let that go. If you stop and think you’ve reached the apex of your career, then it’s all over. I have other things in my mind now,” the Greek defender told La Stampa newspaper.

After the final whistle, Manolas first screamed like Hulk, then burst into tears sitting on the bench moments later.

“It just all spilled out of me. I was afraid after my goal that Barcelona could score and ruin everything we had built during the game, so I just felt liberated when it ended.”

Roma have already stunned Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group stage and are now preparing for Liverpool and their old teammate Salah.

“We won’t man-mark Salah, because we stopped Barcelona and Leo Messi with teamwork, so we can stop Salah the same way. It won’t be easy, of course, but we are ready,” continued Manolas.

“Our belief this season comes from the philosophy of football that the Coach gives us. Roma must never change their way of thinking, no matter the opponent.

“Di Francesco is a very European Coach, he always asks us to dominate the game with pressing and intensity. It’s also true that we ought to have another six or seven points in Serie A, but when we play in the Champions League, it does bring something more out of us.”

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