Roma Manager Eusebio Di Francesco spoke to the press earlier today in his Pre-Match Press-Conference.
The Lupi are 5-2 down following the First-Leg of their Champions League Semi-Final, so they must score at least three times in order to reach their first Final since 1984.
“Nothing is decided in terms of the team. We’ll have players missing and fewer options than usual, but nothing decisive. This is an important game to be approached in the right way both defensively and offensively.
“We need to give our opponents less space in behind, even if this is more of a journalistic issue than a tactical one.
“We have to score three goals and there’s definitely the risk of getting caught on the counter-attack, so we have to take that into account.
“Asking about the defence doesn’t make much sense though, because if you want to score three goals you can’t stay under your own crossbar.”
Roma reached the Semi-Finals by overturning a 4-1 deficit to Barcelona and won 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. Di Francesco was asked whether or not the Giallorossi could repeat this.
“We’re facing a totally different team, tactically and even mentally, one that holds the ball less and goes more direct. We have the desire to achieve the comeback though, and do something important.
“If I could I would copy and paste that performance against Barcelona, not just technically but on a mental and physical level.
“To compete with Liverpool you need to raise your athletic performance, we need to score as soon as possible to excite our fans and give them a reason to push us.
“We’re playing a Semi-Final in front of a stadium with 70,000 people. I want to see enthusiasm and the desire to overcome the obstacle. After that there can be any result, but that’s what I want to see”.
The Giallorossi Manager was asked about former Roma player Mo Salah who scored twice for Liverpool last week and ran riot.
“We can’t change the whole team for one player. I’ve heard talk of a three-man defence, five when defending.
“I say what we need is to be attentive and aware that he’s good at attacking the space in behind, and the ability to read certain situations. We can’t put three men on him.
“We prepared the game well, but during the game we got sucked toward the ball a bit and we forgot what we’d prepared, not everything turns out as it should.
“We were at the mercy of Liverpool for 25 minutes and that cannot happen. We hope to remedy it”.
Roma haven’t lost at the Stadio Olimpico in this season’s Champions League, but more impressively they haven’t conceded a single goal. During this run they have shut-out the likes of Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk and Barcelona.
“Yes, we give our opponents very little, but we did suffer a lot against Atletico, then after that much less because we didn’t give much away. I hope we’re consistent in that sense.
“Repeating Barcelona is never easy but with this crowd and their passion there’s the desire to pull off another miracle”.
Jurgen Klopp’s assistant Zeljko Buvac has left Liverpool, with reports of a bust-up between the pair.
Di Francesco joked “I’ve kicked out my assistant too to make it even. It’s internal stuff, I’m not preparing the game based on that. We’ll face a strong and determined team which represents a great club, one with a great history in Europe.
“I don’t think one staff member can make a difference”.
Di Francesco was then asked about the trouble between both fan bases after Reds fan Sean Cox was placed in a coma after an assault by two Roma fans before the First-Leg at Anfield last week.
“There are bad apples in all fanbases. I’ve already said that I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Sean Cox and his family and I’m against all form of violence, like we all are here.
“There are good fans in Rome, we can’t allow a small number of fans – which I think there are in England too – to ruin our beautiful sport.
“I want to make an appeal: it must be a joy to come to the stadium tomorrow”.