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DI FRANCESCO: "In some ways our best performance this season share"

Coach Eusebio Di Francesco was satisfied with his side in the wake of Roma's 3-1 win over Sassuolo on Wednesday evening.

Diego Perotti, Patrik Schick and - for the first time - Nicolo Zaniolo all got on the scoresheet for the Giallorossi, as they gave Roma fans something else to cheer on Boxing Day with a well-deserved three points.

The hosts never looked like being in serious trouble once Perotti had opened the scoring from the penalty spot after eight minutes - and Di Francesco was happy to acknowledge afterwards that his side had performed well.

"I think this was possibly our best performance of the season on a technical level," Di Francesco said.

"We're on the right track. I saw lots of good things, especially from our forwards making runs in behind and keeping a high line. We'd prepared those things before the game and were able to put them into practice.

"It's a shame about the late goal we conceded but otherwise I'm happy with how the lads played today."

Next up you have a very important match against Parma.

"They're very difficult to play against. They might not have much possession but they sit deep and get the ball up to their forwards really quickly. It won't be easy and it will be different to this game against Sassuolo."

Do you think the team have thrown off the mental shackles now?

"You can see the quality we have in this team. Of course it's important to get players fit again and get them back out there - people like Diego Perotti, for example. We really missed him and having him available again means I have more options with all these games close together. After the second half against Juventus, it was important for us to respond with a performance like this."

Now the most important thing is to end the year with another win.

"It won't be at all easy, I can tell you that. Sassuolo allow you to play an open game. We did well today and we must carry this enthusiasm into the match against Parma - our desire to take the game to the opposition, to make runs in behind and win the ball back immediately while remaining very focused defensively."

Getting your injured players fit again is also important for the rest of the season.

"It's crucial. We mustn't use it as an excuse but great forwards are often fundamental for a team's balance. Hopefully we'll have more players available for the next game or in the new year and then we'll have more options."

How did Patrik Schick do today? Everyone was expecting him to start on the bench.

"He knew he was going to play. Edin [Dzeko] was out for a while so he couldn't play the full 90 minutes. Patrik went for goal lots of times, he was very careful and did what I asked of him."

Did Perotti help you stretch the opposition?

"Diego is one of those players who's good at beating his man, which is essential in football. Big teams need players like him when they come up against sides who sit deep. We really missed him. Fortunately he's getting back to his best now."
Source: As Roma
Wednesday December 26, 2018
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