Thursday April 15 2021
Fonseca: 'Semi-final changes nothing for Roma'

Paulo Fonseca insists reaching the Europa League semi-final against Manchester United ‘changes nothing’ for his future, while Roma ‘had Ajax under control.’

The Giallorossi had won the first leg 2-1 in Amsterdam, so a 1-1 draw at the Olimpico allowed them to book their semi-final spot against Manchester United.

The first leg is set for Old Trafford on April 29, with the Olimpico lit up on May 6.

“I think we had more problems defensively in Amsterdam, whereas tonight we largely had Ajax under control. They are a team with a lot of quality, but we did really well in defence today,” Fonseca told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’s difficult to play a team with that kind of quality going forward. We played a very realistic game, knowing we had the 2-1 first leg advantage, and I think we took the right approach.”

Roma have won 12 out of 14 Europa League matches this season and will face Manchester United in the semi-final.

“I’ve never reached a semi-final before, so this makes me very proud, especially as we are representing Italy right now. It’s a source of pride for Roma and we are all very happy.”

Edin Dzeko’s goal was created by Roma playing their way out of defence with Bryan Cristante.

“Bryan has a lot of quality on the ball, playing out from the back with Bryan is an important part of our game. Riccardo Calafiori did well and set up the goal.

“We know that Bryan has this ability to pick a pass and escape the initial press, which makes him a very special centre-back.”

It was noted that since the infamous row that saw Dzeko frozen out, the striker now seems more fired up than ever.

“Dzeko is motivated, happy and everything is going well right now.”

Fonseca was asked how reaching the semi-final might change his rapport with Roma and the on-going reports over his future.

“It doesn’t change anything. I don’t know if I will be the Roma coach next season, just that I will be the coach for the next game.

“As I’ve always said, I am not remotely concerned with the future. All that matters now is Roma. The club owners have always been very close to us all and we feel their presence.”