Monday April 25 2016
Spalletti: ‘Hard-fought win’

Coach Luciano Spalletti admits Roma "suffered" to beat Napoli, and says second-place is still "difficult to achieve".

Radja Nainggolan’s late strike gave the Giallorossi a 1-0 win, and handed the Scudetto to Juventus. Click here for a match report.

“We really dug deep,” Spalletti acknowledged in his post-match interview with Premium Sport.

“We had some difficulty, and they’re good when dribbling with the ball. In the second half we sat a bit too deep and suffered with their dribbling, while still being dangerous when he kept the ball on the ground and we created our chances.

“Especially in the second half they put us in difficult with their dribbling. They often had the ball in dangerous areas, but went wrong with the final pass.

“I still think we had the best chances though. He hit them on the break well with [Mohamed] Salah and [Stephan] El Shaarawy in the second half.

“We did well to suffer and get something out of the game. It’s true we suffered, but we didn’t steal anything.

“It’s important for our work, it’s a sign that we’re on the right track.”

The Lupi are now just two points behind Maurizio Sarri’s side in the race for second place and automatic qualification for the Champions League, but Spalletti sounded a note of caution.

“I think if you look at the fixtures second place is difficult to achieve. Obviously it was already a difficult goal when I arrived at Roma [in January].

“That said, the Roma players have done some important things, fighting for objectives beyond even what I thought of at first.

“Bridging the gap to Juventus? You have to buy the best players. The squad definitely did a great job, but we have to calmly look at what needs to be improved at the end of the season.”

Francesco Totti came off the bench once again, is he still useful for the team?

“Absolutely, yes,” Spalletti confirmed.

“He takes the enthusiasm of the fans and transfers it to the team. He also played two important balls today.

“Is he good luck? Yes, it’s all good! No, no the reality is that you make your assessments. I watch tapes and study opponents to assess the pace of the game.

“If Totti starts and has to run in behind our opponents, maybe he gives us less quality than he can if he comes on in the final minutes.”

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