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Di Francesco frustrated by lack of threat in final third

Coach Eusebio Di Francesco felt his side let themselves down, particularly in the final third, as they suffered a 3-0 defeat against Real Madrid on Wednesday evening.

The Giallorossi's Champions League campaign got off to a disappointing start at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the hosts running out comfortable winners thanks to strikes from Isco, Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz.

Roma had their moments, but in the end Di Francesco was left to rue some poor decision-making - although he admitted his side were punished by the reigning European champions.

"We struggled to deal with their through balls in the first half," Di Francesco said. "They stroke the ball around with such ease - you can see that.

"There were four or five occasions where we managed to break forward well but we made a lot of technical errors too. Our decision-making and final ball weren't up to scratch when we broke forward.

"We knew it would be tough against Real and today the team that deserved it most won. We needed to show a bit more quality."

Are Federico Fazio, Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko experiencing a dip in form?

"There are things I think I need to worry about more generally but I'd like to look at the positives today. We were up against a fantastic side who are better than us.

"We have to get ourselves back on track in Serie A now, get these players performing at their best again and give them belief because they've the sort of players who have carried Roma in the past. But yes, I do expect a bit more from them."

Real dropped off in the last 15 minutes but Roma weren't able to get the ball forward quickly much. Why is that?

"I agree with that. Again, it comes down to your decision-making. In certain situations you have to speed up play if there's an opening and sometimes you have to knock it forward straight away. We must get our heads down, work hard and do better.

"We grew into the game in the second half but we were still lacking that killer pass that could hurt out opponents in the final third."

Did you pick Nicolo Zaniolo because he was fresh or to send a message to the others?

"It was a bit of both. I can see the boy's got talent. I haven't suddenly lost the plot and decided to throw the lad into the Champions League. He's got talent and he did some good things today.

"Personally I believe there's no better game to blood certain youngsters. I think he played well."
Source: As Roma
Thursday September 20, 2018
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