UEFA Champions League


Eusebio Di Francesco was understandably proud of his side, after seeing them reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Sevilla on Tuesday. Edin Dzeko scored the crucial goal on the night, as the Giallorossi progressed on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw. It is the fourth time the club have reached the last-eight of Europe's top club competition - and the first time in 10 years.

What sort of message does this send out?
“My players really applied themselves today. They were switched on at all times and afforded our opponents nothing. Football games are decided by mistakes and moments where you have to take your chances – we did well in that respect tonight. There were mistakes in the first leg and we knew Shakhtar would concede a few opportunities. It was a game that required men to perform as a team – that's crucial if you want to aim for the biggest prizes.”

Who would you like to play in the quarter-finals?
“I want Roma to keep dreaming. It was wonderful to see so many fans getting behind the team and suffering with us. It feels great to be involved in a match like this one tonight and I hope to enjoy plenty more nights like this. The only thing I want to avoid in the quarters is fear. Regardless of who we have to face, I want my team to go out there and play with the same spirit we saw tonight.”

What could you have done better this evening?
“You can always do better. When you're up against a team with lots of good ball-players you have to be brave enough to close them down and we should have read certain situations better – for example when they played back to the keeper, the full-back stayed high up the pitch. Overall, I was happy with our performance. We're looking more organised now but we mustn't settle for what we've got: we can do better still.”

What mark would you give Roma?
“10/10 for application, 6/10 for technique and a good mark for our tactical performance. Certain results you achieve by believing in your ability.”

(Photo LaPresse)