Roma manager, Eusebio Di Francesco, has spoken on his side’s surprised victory over Spanish giants, Barcelona, in the second leg of the Champions League quarter final yesterday.
According to the Italian, the 3-0 result was a reward of their hard work.
Speaking with Mediaset Premium, Francesco said the focus now is on the trophy.
He said, “The strength of this team is in looking forward, not back. We have the derby coming up on Sunday, we must always look to the next target and it’s right in front of us.
“I take the blame for defeats and some ungrateful words on social media, so I may as well take the credit for a win!
“The truth is that I made this choice to create more width, allow more counter-attacks and bring rapidity, but what really changed was the philosophy of the side and we have to continue like this now.
“Although we had very good performances in Serie A, we are only today reaping the rewards – the just rewards – for the hard work we have done.
“Of course we should believe in the final. Why shouldn’t we believe? We came this far and nobody expected us to do it, so of course we should push on and aim for something more, raise the bar every time.
“I don’t want a side that rests on its laurels or thinks it doesn’t matter how the game goes. I’ll not stand for that. We have to target more and realise we can always do better.”
Lyon 0-0 Barcelona: Lionel Messi blanks in Champions League stalemate
Barcelona were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Lyon in their Champions League last-16 first leg as both sides remained undefeated in this season’s competition.
The La Liga leaders dominated the match at the Groupama stadium but lacked accuracy up front and were grateful to their goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen who made two great saves.
Lyon were lively in the first half but ran out of steam after the break and were holding on in the closing stages as Lionel Messi tried in vain to open up the home defence.
The second leg will be at the Nou Camp on March 13.
LYON 0-0 BARCELONA
Lyon XI: Lopes, Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy, Traore, Ndombele, Aouar, Terrier, Depay, Dembele.
Subs: Gorgelin, Marcal, Tete, Cheikh, Solet, Cornet, Tousart.
Barcelona XI: ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Rakitic, Messi, Suarez, Dembele.
Subs: Pena, Coutinho, Malcom, Murillo, Vidal, Umtiti, Alena.
Barcelona squad to face Valladolid revealed
Barcelona have released their line-up that will tackle Valladolid in the La Liga fixture on Saturday night at Camp Nou.
According to Barca Blaugranes, Barcacelona’s coach, Ernesto Valverde released a list of 18 players.
The players include: two goal keepers, five defenders, six midfielders and five forwards.
Goalkeepers: Marc-André ter Stegen, Iñaki Peña
Defenders: Nélson Semedo, Gerard Piqué, Clément Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Thomas Vermaelen
Midfielders: Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto, Carles Aleñá, Arturo Vidal
Forwards: Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembélé, Malcom, Kevin-Prince Boateng
The kick-off time for the match is 8:45pm.
Barcelona prepare for Messi exit
Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has admitted that the club’s recent transfer activity, has been with the retirement of Lionel Messi in mind.
The Spanish champions agreed a £65million deal to sign 21-year-old Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong last month, as well as teenage defender Jean-Clair Todibo.
Brazilian duo Arthur (22) and Malcom (21) were also signed in the summer.
Bartomeu says their additions is to prepare the squad for the day that Messi decides to leave.
Speaking to journalist Guillem Balague on BBC Radio Five Live’s Football Daily Podcast, he said: “I know one day Lionel will say he’s retiring.
“We have to prepare the club for the future.
“We are bringing great young players to the team because we need to continue this era of success. That’s our responsibility.
“My mandate will be finished in two seasons. So I need to leave the club in a great position and tell the new president ‘that’s our legacy’.”
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