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Fonseca: hard to explain our first half performance

Read what coach Paulo Fonseca had to say following Saturday's 4-2 defeat against Sassuolo.

The Giallorossi went into the break 3-0 down at the Mapei Stadium - and were unable to pull off a comeback, despite goals from Edin Dzeko and Jordan Veretout.

Lorenzo Pellegrini was also sent off midway through the second half.

You got your approach wrong in the first half today. What happened?

"First of all, I want to congratulate Sassuolo because they played well and won well. The truth is we didn't play in the first half. We can't win games if we defend the way we did today. It's hard to explain the huge difference between this game and the Lazio game. A team that wants to win every match can't play the way we did in the first 45 minutes today. We didn't play."

Regardless of the result, did you expect a lot more from your players?

"This was a difficult match. If you let Sassuolo play, they have plenty of attacking quality, but I didn't expect them to score every time they attacked. It's hard to explain how a team can defend like that."

Might Alessandro Florenzi's departure have had an effect on the dressing room?

"No. I don't think we were mentally ready for this game. It's hard to explain that first-half performance."

What was the problem? Were the two midfielders too far apart leaving a gap in the middle, or did Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert need to help them more?

"The main problem was the way we pressed high up the field, leaving a player behind [Bryan] Cristante. We also made lots of individual mistakes in one-on-one situations."

What did you think of the refereeing?

"We didn't lose because of the referee. I'm not going to make any excuses there. We were responsible for our own downfall. However, I don't understand why we got so many yellow cards - seven or eight are hard to explain."

What did you and Edin Dzeko say to each other at the end of the game?

"He said there was no need to talk to the referee. I appreciated it."
Source: As Roma
Saturday February 01, 2020
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