Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco admits he is looking for a miracle in their Champions League semi-final second leg at home to Liverpool.
Having stunned Barcelona, who arrived with a 4-1 lead in the last round but exited the competition on away goals after the hosts’ 3-0 win, Di Francesco hopes lightning strikes twice as they try to overcome a 5-2 deficit.
“I would do a copy and paste (of the Barca game),” he said.
“It is in the mind of the players. In order to compete against a rival such as Liverpool, we need to raise the bar in terms of physical effort, then comes the attitude, approach to the game and trying to score an early goal to have the fans behind us even more.
“We have conceded very little to our rivals at home (Roma have not let in a Champions League goal at the Stadio Olimpico this season).
“It won’t be easy, but it is our duty to believe it. Thanks to the passion of our fans, we have our fans behind us so we all have the desire to complete one more miracle, if I may use the word.”
Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan is also praying for a miracle and he said of the encounter with the Reds: “We all know it’s going to be difficult – but it was against Barcelona too and we managed it then.
“We have to believe that we can do it. It’ll be even harder than it was against Barcelona because Liverpool are a stronger side physically.
“The only thing we can do is try to score three goals and attempt to give as little away as possible to Liverpool.”
A player familiar with facing Liverpool is former Manchester City frontman Edin Dzeko and he admits he won’t be throwing in the towel just yet.
“I certainly hope it can be like the Barcelona game,” he said.
“We have to give our all from the start, the stadium will be packed and we’ll do our best.
“I don’t want to think about the first leg, as it’s better to look forward and we certainly have to do better on home turf.
“We’ll see what happens. The fans will be behind us, just as they were against Barcelona, and we’ll try to put in a great performance.”
Roma goalkeeper Alisson has also spoken honestly about the tie and explains why he thinks former teammate Mohamed Salah compares to Lionel Messi this season.
The Brazilian was also questioned about his future at Roma amid speculation linking him with both the Reds and Real Madrid.
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