Roma took a huge step towards the Europa League quarter-finals by winning the first leg of their Round of 16 tie with Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 on Thursday.
Shakhtar had more possession, but Roma made their chances count, with Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stephan El Shaarawy and Gianluca Mancini all scoring.
It was El Shaarawy’s first goal since returning to the club, and also marked successive games with a goal for defender Mancini.
Roma will travel to Ukraine next week knowing they will qualify as long as they concede less than three goals.
After a job well done in the first leg, here are five key quotes from Paulo Fonseca.
On players making sacrifices
“Mancini is playing almost every minute and he’s sacrificing himself to be out there. We have some tired players, but they always want to play. It’s really important for a coach to know his players are ready to sacrifice themselves for the team. That’s the sort of team spirit I want.”
On how Roma nullified Shakhtar’s threat
“They defend really well and are incredibly good on the counter-attack. We didn’t give them many chances to attack on the counter, however. Shakhtar defend quite narrowly and it was important we really attacked the spaces aggressively. In that regard we did well, especially in the second half.”
On whether he had a disagreement with Pedro
“No, Pedro didn’t understand what I was trying to tell him. There’s nothing more to it than that.”
On why Roma are doing better in Europe than Serie A
“In games like these, the players always have a little extra motivation. They know they are different games, with a different style of play required – they are more focused, more concentrated. It will be important to make sure we take that attitude back into the league with us.”
On being Roma’s coach
“I’m happy to be Roma’s coach. I love the city and the fans. You all know that it is not easy here, but the key thing is to stay balanced. I’m learning a lot from being the coach here at Roma.”
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