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Shakhtar shock for Roma in Kharkiv

De Rossi admits Italians “stopped playing” in second half

Gulf News

Kharkiv: Roma could be left ruing a poor second-half performance after allowing Shakhtar Donetsk to come from a goal down to win 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 meeting.

Cengiz Under continued his fine run of form by giving Roma the lead shortly before half-time but Facundo Ferreyra levelled for Shakhtar shortly after the break and Fred showed why some of Europe’s top clubs are reportedly after him with a perfect free kick in the 71st minute.

“I seem to have seen two different Roma teams today on the pitch. After conceding the first goal I should have substituted most of them,” Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said. “In the first half the team played to attack and then they played to manage I don’t know what. For that reason I’m angry.

“I can’t think we were presumptuous when winning, it’s not as if Roma gets to the final every year. But in the second half we were too sloppy in our passing, something which we were perfect in the first half.”

Roma’s players were similarly disappointed, with captain Daniele De Rossi admitting they “stopped playing” after Shakhtar’s equaliser and the result “leaves us with a bitter taste.”

Midfielder Diego Perotti couldn’t believe his team’s transformation after the break.

“What happened between the first and second half? I don’t know, I’m asking myself that too,” Perotti said. “Based on our first-half performance we deserved to win, and I’m very upset about the wretched second half we played. It’s all our fault, there are no excuses, we’re responsible.”

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