ROME – Eusebio Di Francesco implored his Roma gamers to drag off the “unthinkable” towards Barcelona.
Roma has an away objective however trails Barcelona Four-1 going into the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Having reached the final eight for the time in a decade, Roma feels it has nothing to lose towards the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
“Now we have the possibility to do one thing unthinkable, contemplating that they virtually have not misplaced – a miracle if you’ll,” Di Francesco stated on Monday.
Barcelona is undefeated within the Spanish league and the Champions League. Its solely three losses got here in each legs of the Spanish Tremendous Cup to Actual Madrid in August and to Espanyol within the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals in January.
“We have the responsibility to attempt,” Di Francesco stated. “Let’s keep in mind the house match towards Chelsea however let’s additionally do not forget that we’re going through an armada.”
Roma was completely spectacular in beating Chelsea Three-Zero within the group stage, and also can take inspiration from the final time it hosted Barcelona.
Within the 2015-16 group stage, Roma held Barcelona to 1-1 courtesy of Alessandro Florenzi’s astonishing equalizer from close to the midway line.
However Barcelona routed Roma 6-1 within the reverse fixture in Spain very like it manhandled the Giallorossi final week on the Camp Nou.
Personal targets by Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas plus some sloppy defending that allowed Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez to attain left Roma on the verge of elimination.
“Roma has by no means had a successful mentality – or hasn’t had it for very lengthy,” stated Di Francesco, who was a midfielder on the 2001 Roma squad that gained the membership’s final Serie A title and is in his first season because the crew coach.
“We have to construct that mentality inside Trigoria (the crew’s coaching heart) and we have to do it with information and never with chitchat.”
Whereas Roma is unbeaten at house within the Champions League, six of its seven losses in Serie A have come on the Stadio Olimpico, together with a debilitating 2-Zero defeat by Fiorentina on Saturday that dropped it to fourth place.
Luckily for Roma, key midfielder Radja Nainggolan has returned from a thigh damage after lacking final week’s match in Barcelona.
Turkey winger Cengiz Beneath, who scored six targets for Roma in February and March, stays questionable as a result of an injured thigh.
It has been an up-and-down season for Nainggolan, who was punished by Roma for drunken, reside Instagram postings on New 12 months’s Eve.
“It is true that I’ve by no means gained something however those who know me know that I’ve all the time performed to win,” Nainggolan stated. “Typically I desire the hardest street doable. I selected Roma as a result of it is obtained nice fan assist and it might be stupendous to win right here.”
Barcelona, in the meantime, is cautious of a Roma response because it seems to be to succeed in the semifinals for the primary time since its final title in 2015.
Barcelona was eradicated at this stage within the final two years.
“I have been in soccer a very long time and know that extraordinary issues can occur in soccer,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde stated. “We have to make sure nothing extraordinary occurs tomorrow. We will not take to the sphere pondering they can’t compete with us. Having an excessive amount of confidence may price us dearly.”
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen can also be cautious not let in a repeat of Florenzi’s objective.
“These items are uncommon,” Ter Stegen stated. “Perhaps the objective made me a bit stronger, nevertheless it definitely did not change my recreation. That is simply a part of life and soccer – issues occur that you do not anticipate.”