De Rossi

De Rossi: “We know it won’t be easy, but we don’t give up”


Daniele De Rossi admits that it was difficult for Roma to get back into the match after going a goal down to Bayer Leverkusen. The Bundesliga side ran out 2-o winners in the first leg of the Europa League semifinals at the Stadio Olimpico, and speaking post-match De Rossi explained why it was a tough night for his team:

“We played against a strong team, and once they take the lead, it becomes difficult to recover. We were frantic after conceding the goal. The performance was executed correctly; in the first half, we were aggressive and regained possession quickly, which was what we had prepared for. Many times in Europe, we’ve unlocked games early, and they’ve gone in our favor, but today it went a bit the other way around.”

Reflecting on Karsdorp’s mistake, he stated: “Football is all about incidents; we would be unfair if we pointed fingers at what happened today when in other matches, perhaps, we won due to others’ inaccuracies. It happens, it’s part of the game. We come out of it together; we still have the return leg. Sometimes, almost always, incidents turn games one way or the other, but until the last second, we had chances. Today was their night, it’s their year; they have great qualities and impressive speed on the counter.”

Looking ahead to the task of overturning the result in Leverkusen, De Rossi said: “Every goal in two-legged ties can have incredible significance, but today, shortly after kick-off, we could have been ahead; we hit the crossbar. Maybe in the return leg, it will be our turn; I believe in it a lot. We know very well it won’t be easy, but we don’t give up.”

Regarding the adopted strategy, De Rossi remarked: “There are choices to be made; going strong exposes you to the danger of players having more space behind our defense, very fast and quality players. In my opinion, the choice in the first half was paying off; we conceded the goal from a ball that was in our control. When you go behind, it becomes difficult, but you can also do many things better. We need to be a bit more composed, but in terms of performance and attitude, the boys did what they had to.”

Continuing his tactical analysis of the match, the coach said: “The game we had prepared was this one. We knew they would be even more closed if they had set up this formation here. You break down these teams with great fluidity of play, ball movement, and with great one-on-one, speed, attacking space as well. Because then, when they close up, if you lose the ball, they hit you on the counter; they know how to play both in construction and on the counter. A difficult team to face, as they’ve shown all year. Now we’ll analyze it a bit better, but I believe that in the first half, we did things correctly.”

Finally, regarding the opponents’ physical qualities, De Rossi added: “Their physical strength isn’t something you can contain easily. They have a different pace from ours, a squad built mainly on speed and physicality. Perhaps we have more technique; we need to be good at choosing the right time when they have the ball and not let them rotate freely. The more you press them hard, the less they rotate, but the more space they have behind the defense, and there we must be practically perfect.”


Serie A obsessive.