Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan expressed his disappointment post-match, admitting that the result – which must serve as a lesson for the rest of the Champions League campaign – was down to the team’s approach in the first half. He felt Roma sat too deep and allowed their opponents to come onto them, only attacking them in the second period.
Radja, a first half display to forget. Is now the time to apologize to the fans?
“We’re well aware of how we played two contrasting halves of football. We know we should have played like we did in the second half for the full 90 minutes. All we can do now is use today’s game as a lesson and try to play better next time.”
Might the draw against Barça have caused you to underestimate this match?
“No because we knew today’s match would be tough. As I’ve said, had we played like we did in the second half for the whole game, it would have been a different story. I know it’s easy to say so after the match but we needed to start well. We’re to blame for the result.”
Will Garcia also be blamed for his starting line-up?
“No, us players knew what we had to do, we just didn’t do it well. Now we have to see in detail what we got wrong and what we didn’t. We started badly, we sat too deep, whereas in the second half we moved further forward. This change in approach meant we could have equalized late on but we missed too many chances. It’s a shame, we definitely could have played better tonight.”
How do you explain Roma’s contrasting halves of football?
“We got in on goal a couple of times in the first period too but didn’t finish well. We weren’t balanced and they made the most of the space. We didn’t defend well but, either way, we knew at half time that we could get back into it. We’re disappointed because we didn’t take the opportunities we had to level things at the end.”