EDF: ‘Roma changes didn’t work’

Eusebio Di Francesco took the blame for Roma’s 2-1 defeat to Milan, acknowledging his tactical experiment “didn’t work.”

Franck Kessie had given the Rossoneri a half-time lead and Federico Fazio fought back to equalise, but with 30 seconds to go, Patrick Cutrone sprung the offside trap on a Gonzalo Higuain through ball.

“We gifted a half to Atalanta and did the same to Milan. The team was modified and improved in the second half, it’s a shame about the decisive goal, as there was a bad decision made in the final seconds,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“Instead of running away with the ball, Daniele (De Rossi) tried to play it and was caught out. It was a naïve error and unfortunately we paid for it.”

Di Francesco unexpectedly moved to 3-4-1-2 in this game, giving Ivan Marcano his debut and Rick Karsdorp his first appearance since October 2017.

“Obviously when choices are made, they are to give a sense of defensive confidence that we didn’t have before. It didn’t pay off. I always get the sense we start slow, then grow and it is something we need to reflect on to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“I picked three at the back to ensure we weren’t as pinned back as before, but it didn’t work and we accept the result. What we can tell is that we are no longer solid at the back, even with the same players we had last season. We’re conceding too many goals, make too many bad choices on the field and it’s something we have to work on in training.

“I tried to make the defence a little more compact, but we kept getting our timing wrong on when to be aggressive and when to hold back.

“Principally, we lack sharpness when reading certain situations and it’s as much psychological as physical. We didn’t make the passes or seek the lines we usually do.”

Roma also started with Javier Pastore in a trequartista role behind Edin Dzeko and Patrik Schick.

“I wanted to have a more physical attack, with Schick who is also good at attacking the space. Cengiz Under had two games and suffered from cramp, so I tried to do something different. It didn’t work, we tried.

“Dzeko and Schick worked better together as part of a trident than when it was them two. We need to make more of the width and put crosses in to make the most of their physicality, but that didn’t happen.”

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