EDF: ‘Barca don’t need help’

Eusebio Di Francesco criticised both Roma’s finishing and the referee after a 4-1 defeat. “Barcelona are strong, they don’t need help.”

The Giallorossi were beaten at Camp Nou in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, but scored two own goals and assisted another.

“Barcelona are already such a strong side, they don’t need help. This evening they received help from us and from the referee,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“We put in a fine performance this evening, but there were costly errors and we cannot pin the responsibility on others. I can’t complain in terms of character and attitude, because we found ourselves 3-0 down and didn’t realise how it had happened.

“I asked the team for balance, because playing over 180 minutes we needed to keep the tie on a relatively even keel. Although we have experience, we need to improve in that sense.

“The result is far too harsh considering the performance and the strength of the opposition. Daniele De Rossi’s own goal was unlucky, while we gave them an assist when Ivan Rakitic hit the post too.

“We were naïve and too slow on occasion. We honoured the occasion, but should’ve been better at reading certain situations. You need to score goals when given the chance, like Diego Perotti and also others. We must be more clinical, because Barcelona are ruthless.

“The only thing we can say is that we made Barcelona play badly. We didn’t want to just allow them continual possession. We conceded goals in unusual situations and were at times too hasty. If you create scoring opportunities at Camp Nou, you have to take them.”

Di Francesco had to do without injured Radja Nainggolan and Cengiz Under, so was asked what he would’ve changed if playing this game again.

“The referee?” he laughed. “Those who played did well. Look at the attitude in the second half, we were so determined to get the away goal. What we lacked was quality in our choices.”

While Roma scored two own goals, the fourth was also a gift, because Maxime Gonalons accidentally set it up for Luis Suarez.

“Gonalons controlled the ball badly and didn’t realise he had Suarez behind him. There is so much talk about our goalkeeper, but Marc-Andre Ter Stegen had to perform some fantastic saves this evening. This proves if you are a great team, you need a great goalkeeper.”

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