Luciano Spalletti is confident his team will be ready to face Porto in the Champions League play-offs after watching the win 1-0 against US Latina on Wednesday evening. Federico Fazio scored the only goal of the game, as Thomas Vermaelen also made his debut for the Giallorossi. Roma travel to Portugal for the first leg against Porto on 17 August.
“We need to take little steps forward,” Spalletti said, following the game at Stadio Francioni. “When we can field a complete line-up, covering all positions, we’ll be fine – we’ll make sure we’re ready for the play-off. This was a good workout because we were up against an organised team who worked well during the game. It was by no means easy for us. We played some good football but we'll have to produce a little bit extra. Either way tonight’s game was another step forward for us.”
The friendly with Latina saw two new Roma signings, Fazio and Vermaelen, make their first appearances: “They did well, as did Juan Jesus on the left, both in the first half when we played four at the back and then in the second when we used a back three,” Spalletti added.
“They demonstrated some of their quality, showing they know what’s required of them and how to go about their jobs. We need players like that. At the start of the second half, Latina did well to keep hold of the ball and we weren’t really able to take the game to them, but we mirrored their formation and that improved things. As I’ve said, we need to try and be more incisive in our play, but there are no major issues.”