Thursday April 29 2021
Pellegrini stands up for Fonseca

Lorenzo Pellegrini doesn’t know what happened to Roma after half-time against Manchester United in the Europa League semi-final, but he tries to defend Paulo Fonseca.

The captain had converted a penalty to cancel out the Bruno Fernandes opener, then Edin Dzeko completed the comeback to lead 2-1.

However, they crumbled after the break and lost 6-2 at Old Trafford.

“We had a great first half, then objectively I don’t know what happened after the break. I tell the fans that we’ll try in the second half to prove ourselves,” Pellegrini told Sky Sport Italia.

“We tried to prepare as if this was the game of a lifetime and we’ll do the same in the second leg. We will fight until the final whistle.

“We left the locker room at half-time saying we had to keep fighting, that we had a great result. Other things then happened and it’s difficult to talk about that now.”

Fonseca will be vilified in the media and by fans, with even Pellegrini having to correct himself after initial speaking about his role in the past tense.

“Roma are not out of the Europa League yet. We’ll fight to the bitter end. The coach has done, or rather is doing, a job where he helped everyone improve day by day. I am sure he will get criticised, as will the players, but that’s only fair.”