The Giallorossi boss, Luciano Spalletti, stressed that his players did exactly what he asked of them, creating a wealth of goalscoring opportunities and hitting the woodwork three times, and the result simply has to be accepted because fortune is not always on your side: “I told the lads I was happy with the way they played tonight. They did what they had to. We kept the ball for 70 minutes and had 15 shots on goal. Sometimes games are decided by fine margins – like hitting the post.”
It's a strange result considering all those chances you had:
“Yes but things like that can happen in football; sometimes you come away with a point despite playing well. It's a draw today and we have to accept it. Credit to Bologna. Now we need to move on.”
Would you agree that Roma were better in the second half, at the start of it especially?
“That's correct, we were better after the break. We were in control of the game from the start but lacked bite. We needed to be a touch more aggressive. We play nice football but sometimes we're a bit too clean. In the second half we were compact and aggressive and if I'm honest I thought we'd go on to claim all three points. We can't complain though because that sort of thing can happen. The lads are as upset about it as anyone because we might have had more to show for our efforts but we accept the result.”
Does this draw make second place that much tougher?
“We have to keep playing well and producing good performances. We'll look at the league table come the end but we need to maintain this spirit and try to play good football, as we did tonight. We're looking both at Napoli above us and at Inter behind us."
You said you congratulated the whole team. Does that include Francesco Totti?
“Totti is part of our team so everything that applies to the team applies to him too.”
Antonio Rudiger and Kostas Manolas seem to have come on a great deal:
“They have, yes. They stifled Bologna's counter-attacks well and apart from just a few occasions they kept the shackles on Bologna's forwards. They did their jobs very well tonight."
What about Edin Dzeko? What did you make of his contribution?
“Edin had a sore leg and he did us a favour by going on for the last 20 minutes. He had a muscle problem, otherwise he would have started the game. We didn't make our third substitution till late precisely because we knew Dzeko might have a problem at any moment.”
What went wrong on that set piece when you conceded the goal?
“Personally I don't think it's right to blame my players for a single situation. In cases like this we just tip our hats to Bologna and move on. We'll talk about it among ourselves, in training and in our personal lives.”
Will Roma buy Stephan El Shaarawy outright?
“We can gain no advantage from talking about this. I thank you for bringing it up but it's better not to create any unrest. We can talk about transfer business further down the line.”