EDF: ‘Roma not allowed to play’

Eusebio Di Francesco explained his tactical decisions as Roma drew with Lazio and why they play better in the Champions League than Serie A.

“It was a rough game, as at the start we weren’t passing it cleanly, but I moved Radja Nainggolan behind the strikers and we did much better,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium after a 0-0 Derby della Capitale.

“It was a match played on the line, Lazio were very determined, but we once again hit the woodwork twice and at times those centimetres can make the difference.

“I also changed the system, trying to spread the play and we didn’t do it as well, especially against a side that was down to 10 men. When we did put crosses in, we created dangerous situations and ought to have done it more regularly.”

Kostas Manolas scored the decisive goal in Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Barcelona, but limped off in the second half.

“He got a knock and felt cramp. I have to say he played, as did Florenzi, despite having flu and went beyond the call of duty. I thought Lazio had a good performance in terms of focus.

“I really liked the attitude shown by Stephan El Shaarawy when coming off the bench. I tried to give a sense of consistency to the performance against Barcelona, but if there had been a goal to break that deadlock, it would’ve made for a much more entertaining match.

“The trouble with our forwards were that Patrik Schick and Edin Dzeko were a bit too static and crowded together. They should’ve moved more off the ball and provided different options, which they did against Barcelona.

“The dynamics of the game do change in Serie A compared to the Champions League, as a team like Barcelona want to play the ball and allow us to therefore play our own game too. We tend to struggle against sides who try to clam up and play the long ball.

“However, I told my lads that our growth process means treating every match the same as if it was Barcelona. We need to maintain our identity and tonight we adapted a little too much to Lazio.”

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