Five Fonseca quotes after Roma battle to Sassuolo stalemate

Paulo Fonseca said he was “really proud” of Roma for battling to a 0-0 draw with Sassuolo.

Roma and Sassuolo played out a stalemate at Stadio Olimpico in an incident-filled match. Pedro was sent off for a second bookable offence in the first half, and even Fonseca received a red card for dissent shortly after.

Both sides had goals ruled out by VAR, while Roma felt they should have been awarded a penalty for a handball late in the game.

However, they ultimately had to settle for a point – which, in the circumstances, was not a bad result.

Here’s how Fonseca reacted after the game.

On his pride at the performance

“I’m really proud of the team. We played well. We had the best chances to score, we were always well organised defensively and we never allowed Sassuolo – who are a great side – to have chances.”

On why the referee sent him off at half-time

“I asked him about the first yellow card for Pedro, because I didn’t understand it – and then I told him, ‘Enough, we’ve committed five fouls and you’ve shown us four yellow cards!’ Just that.”

On whether Edin Dzeko needed to get forward more

“Dzeko worked really hard to help the team out defensively, but when you do that it’s difficult to be up at the other end as well – especially for a player who has been out for a while, who works as hard as he does for the team. He did have some chances, though.”

On the chances of Dzeko and Borja Mayoral playing together in future

“It could be an option, especially as Borja settles in. Today we changed the way we defended, we started with Pedro working around Dzeko. It was important not to leave Sassuolo space to play in the middle. But that pairing could be an option.”

On VAR not intervening with some key decisions

“How can it only then be a yellow for the foul [Pedro] Obiang committed on Lorenzo Pellegrini? I understand that the referee might not see it, but that’s what VAR is there for. And how can he have doubts about the penalty [for handball]? It seems clear to me.”

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