Roma manager, Paulo Fonseca praised his players for their teamwork and efforts after defeating Shakhtar Donetsk, as they figure out that the Europa League is "a different style of football."
“We were certain Shakhtar would play like this. They are very strong on the counter and we prepared well, waited for the right moment to press, learned when to sit back at the times we had to. It was a very good performance,”Roma
coach informedSky Sport Italia
They earned a great first leg result in the Europa League Round of 16, 3-0 home triumph with goals from Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stephan El Shaarawy, and Gianluca Mancini.
Three Italian scorers and a clean sheet from Pau Lopez at the other end were the results of the game for Roma.
also used to work for Shakhtar Donetsk for many years and therefore, he was able to identify the team tactics very well.
“It was not an easy game. I know Shakhtar very well, it’s a team with a lot of quality and they didn’t just beat Real Madrid this season, they held Inter to two draws.
“They clam up well, are very strong on the counter, but we didn’t allow them many opportunities to attack. It was important to seek depth with our passes, because they might defend, but they keep the team very tight and quite a high line.
“Mancini is struggling physically, he is playing every game and made the sacrifice to stay on the field. We have players who are tired, but they all want to play. That spirit and sense of belonging is very important for a coach to hear.”
Roma grew to be the most powerful Italian team so far in the Europa League this season, having seven victories of their nine games.
“These games do bring extra motivation for the players, they realise it’s a different style of football. They are more concentrated, more wary of danger, I would like to see the same attitude in Serie A too.
“I am very happy and proud to be the coach of Roma, I love the city and the fans. Everyone knows it’s not easy here, but it’s important to be balanced in the good and bad moments.
“I am learning so much from this experience as the Roma coach.”
now head to Parma on Sunday ahead of taking their sizeable lead away to Ukraine in seven days' time.
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