Lorenzo Pellegrini admits he “didn’t get much sleep” after a sensational back-heel flick goal helped Roma win the derby against Lazio.
The homegrown midfielder came off the bench when Javier Pastore was injured and made a huge difference, as he scored a remarkable finish, won the free kick that Aleksandar Kolarov converted and then put the cross on Federico Fazio’s head for the 3-1.
“I didn’t get much sleep,” confessed Pellegrini on Roma Radio this morning.
“It was my debut in the Rome Derby and it felt fantastic. To win, score a goal and have a good performance from the whole team is magnificent.
“It was also a moment in the season where we really needed to win this game. Essentially, winning a derby feels even better than you could hypothetically imagine!
“It seemed as if Flaco was fine and just wanted a drink when he approached the touchline, but they told me to go and warm-up and I only managed one stretch. Perhaps it’s better that I didn’t get a chance to become nervous.”
Pastore has scored two back-heel flicks this season for Roma and Pellegrini followed suit.
“My instinct told me that in that situation, it was all I could do. It was a ricochet, I had a defender to my left and saw out the corner of my eye that another defender was coming in. I said to myself: ‘Flick it and hope it goes in.’ Fortunately, it did!”
This was Roma’s second consecutive victory, putting the crisis behind them after a dismal 2-0 defeat to Bologna.
“In my view, we weren’t so bad before and we’re not so great now. We talk about the table every day and we felt we didn’t believe to be so low down there, giving us more desire to prove ourselves. Now we have to keep doing it every single game.”
Daniele De Rossi and Pellegrini both confirmed that Kolarov played the derby despite having a fractured little toe on his left foot.
“Alex is a great man even more than a great player. If Daniele hadn’t told the Press, the fans and opponents wouldn’t have known about this fractured toe.
“He never gave in, was there for the team and put the group above all else. Despite the difficulties this season, I have never seen the team lose unity or create a bad atmosphere. It has always been positive.
“Of course, when a player is on the bench he’s not going to be happy, that’s natural and always will be, but that’s a long way from suggesting he’s angry with the Coach or a teammate.”
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