Serie A TIM


The Giallorossi coach, Luciano Spalletti, was delighted with his players' collective display, declaring that he thought they dealt with the contest in the best possible way from a tactical and mental point of view: "The whole team deserves great credit for this victory," Spalletti began in his post-match breakdown. "There's little to add, all I can do right now is compliment the lads. Everyone tackled the game perfectly, including when Lazio came back into the contest."

After a great first half, did you expect the team to drop off in the second?
"Victory doesn't come easily whenever you play against a team coached by Stefano Pioli that has the individual qualities which they do. For sure, you need to get through that moment when the opposition come at you and that's precisely when you need to add something to your game and do what comes least naturally to us, i.e. defending. Everybody did well at that moment and Kostas Manolas and Antonio Rudiger in particular were exceptional."

Edin Dzeko made another big impact off the bench:
"Dzeko did well coming off the bench, but before he came on there were opportunities for other players to kill off the game. He made his contribution, doing what he has to do. He has different attributes than the other guys we have in attack, but he's equally important to us. As I said, this victory was down to the team and not individual players. The reaction came from the team as a whole against Inter as well. It's never a single player who dictates how a team plays, it's always a group effort. The team earned the three points today and Dzeko was part of that. He scored a good goal today, it was an empty net but the ball had bounced up awkwardly."

How would you assess the performances of Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti?
”They are two exceptional players. Perotti is a bit more mature, El Shaarawy scored a great goal but needs to work harder and never be satisfied with what he's done. I had suggested that he should try more headers during the week because he's tall and has a powerful leap. He pulled out an almost impossible header that went inside the far post today. However, he also had three or four other chances where it looked as if he was thinking that he had already scored and we were already 1-0 up. It's a slight difference but he needs to improve on this to become an even better player."

Can Roma aim higher than third spot?
"Obviously we need to keep an eye on what's going on around us and make sure we're ready for anything. Four points off Napoli is a big gap, even if they still have to come to the Olimpico. They're a great side and it won't be easy to overcome them. We'll have to be on top form to win."

Was the situation not right for Francesco Totti to make an appearance?
"I'm the first to be upset that he couldn't come on. In my opinion, today could have been perfectly set up for him to make a contribution, but as coach I have to take other things into consideration as well. I've got players who are almost as good as Totti and I have to bear them in mind."

(Photo LaPresse)