Luciano Spalletti said he was keen to see his side learn the lessons from Sunday's victory over Udinese, as Roma fought to another slender triumph. Just as in Liguria seven days earlier, the Giallorossi won 1-0 at the Dacia Arena - this time thanks to Radja Nainggolan's early finish. Spalletti saw his side struggle to convert a number of good opportunities to make it 2-0, something that the coach was eager to focus on even if he has otherwise impressed with the resilient display from his team.
It was a different kind of win to last week against Genoa, but perhaps the one thing the two matches do have in common is the number of chances you missed...
“It’s vital that our attitude stays on a level for the whole game. If you create two or three chances – which we were able to do today thanks to the quality of our players – and miss them all, your opponents can take advantage of that. It boosts their confidence and they’re able to up their game – it can change the balance of the game. We need to look closely at those periods in the second half when we didn’t manage possession well and rushed our play. We should have made it harder for them to win the ball back after [Gigi] Delneri put all those forwards on. We needed to use our ability to dominate possession better than we did during that spell. The lads showed resilience again today. They started well and instantly showed that they wanted to win convincingly. We didn’t play like a mature team in the second half so that’s the only negative. We deserved to win – and it’s a great win.”
Kevin Strootman was fantastic again today:
“Yes, but I think we need to recognise the performance of team as a whole. [Federico] Fazio was fantastic, [Juan] Jesus was fantastic, [Wojciech] Szczesny was fantastic. [Bruno] Peres and Emerson [Palmieri] were very consistent down the flanks and the team played well for long stretches of the game. That said, we do need to show greater maturity at times.”
You limited Udinese to long-range efforts today – does that speak volumes about your defensive organisation?
“We struck a good balance with three physically strong centre-backs. We needed that strength today because there were always players looking to receive long balls. Having said that, I want the defenders to participate with our general play more, particular the two wider defenders, [Kostas] Manolas and Jesus in this case. They need to help us take the opposition’s midfield out of the game by contributing to our domination of possession and initiating moves. If all three of them hang back, we’re unable to get that numerical advantage in the opposing half.”