EDF: ‘Roma found our shape’

Eusebio Di Francesco believes Roma have finally found their shape after a 5-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen and praised Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Edin Dzeko bagged a hat-trick with Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert also on target in this evening’s Champions League win.

It was the third straight success after Frosinone and Lazio, all achieved since the training retreat and move to 4-2-3-1.

“We played consistently, the midfielders have started moving the right way and exchanging positions correctly,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We immediately got the game on the right track and it’s not easy in the Champions League, but we kept pushing and wanted to entertain the supporters who came out to see us. Plus goal difference can be important in the Champions League.”

It is now a very tight group, as CSKA Moscow beat Real Madrid 1-0 today and went top on four points, the only side still unbeaten.

“Aside from experiments, I was trying to find the right solutions. It’s not easy to experiment at Roma, after all, but I was trying not to completely revoke my 4-3-3, instead making a few adjustments.

“Now I think we’ve found a good system and shape, so I’ll modify a few players, but try to give a sense of consistency to the approach from game to game.

“I have to say the best thing is the determination, hunger and joy they have in playing together.”

Pellegrini came off the bench against Lazio for injured Javier Pastore and transformed the game, while he was again decisive with Viktoria Plzen after a series of great passes and assists.

The Sky Sport Italia pundits asked Di Francesco if Pellegrini was more impressive than Radja Nainggolan in his final season at Roma.

“I am very happy for Lorenzo, a player I strongly wanted at Sassuolo from the Roma youth academy and he grew up with me. I had some moments of difficulty at Sassuolo where I needed to use him in that role and he gave a strong response.

“It’s awfully early to say he’s as good as Nainggolan, but he does really well surprising defenders behind them and in placing the vertical passes through.

“He dealt very well with some unfair criticism and naturally the goals and performances have helped his confidence.”

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