Roma coach targets early goal to rattle Liverpool

Ian Watson

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco admits he is looking for a miracle in their Champions League semi-final second leg at home to Liverpool.

Having stunned Barcelona, who arrived with a 4-1 lead in the last round but exited the competition on away goals after the hosts’ 3-0 win, Di Francesco hopes lightning strikes twice as they try to overcome a 5-2 deficit.

“I would do a copy and paste (of the Barca game),” he said.

“It is in the mind of the players. In order to compete against a rival such as Liverpool, we need to raise the bar in terms of physical effort, then comes the attitude, approach to the game and trying to score an early goal to have the fans behind us even more.

“We have conceded very little to our rivals at home (Roma have not let in a Champions League goal at the Stadio Olimpico this season).

“It won’t be easy, but it is our duty to believe it. Thanks to the passion of our fans, we have our fans behind us so we all have the desire to complete one more miracle, if I may use the word.”

 

Midfielder Radja Nainggolan is well aware of the task which faces them on Wednesday.

“I think we all know it will be difficult but it was difficult against Barcelona and we did it. We need to believe in what we can do, that’s it,” he said.

“I think it will be more difficult than against Barcelona because this is physically a better team.”

Explaining their performance at Anfield he added: “I’m afraid Liverpool’s players were just more consistent.

“We managed to score two late goals and it gives us a glimpse of hope and we are still alive. Now we cannot afford to repeat that mistake.”

 

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