Sunday February 14 2021
Fonseca reveals Veretout bet

Paulo Fonseca reveals he made a bet with Jordan Veretout on his goals this season and hails Roma's ‘great performance’ to beat Udinese 3-0.

Veretout scored with a header and a penalty, before Pedro Rodriguez fired in the third in stoppages.

“I am very satisfied. We started the game strong, scored two goals – three, one disallowed – and created more chances.

“In the second half, we controlled the tempo, kept a clean sheet and I think put in a great performance,” the coach told DAZN.

“It was important to press Rodrigo De Paul, as he is a very strong player who is a huge influence on Udinese, and we managed to neutralise him well, not allowing him the space to make the difference.”

Edin Dzeko was again benched following the row with Fonseca, but the coach was asked if Borja Mayoral’s characteristics simply suit Roma better right now?

“They are two different players, it depends on the game and how the opponents defend. It’s true that Borja Mayoral can run into space and work hard for the team, but in the second half I thought it important to introduce Dzeko because we were under pressure. I must say that Dzeko also tried to do the same work, so both of the strikers played well.

“I have a bet with Veretout, as at the start of the season I said he needed to score at least 10 goals. He’s on nine now, so we joked about that when he came off.

“We prepared Veretout’s work with Bryan and Gonzalo Villar, as it was important to find Jordan in space with that type of movement from deep.”

Bryan Cristante was again played at centre-back, largely because Chris Smalling and Marash Kumbulla are injured.

“Bryan is a very intelligent player, we had a problem with Kumbulla in training, so Cristante has done well there many times and is a leader who helps the team stay solid.”

Roma have been absolutely dominant against the clubs below them in the standings this season, but failed to beat any of the sides above them.

“If we look at the performance against Juventus, we did well and were only missing the result. We got the three points today and they were very important.”