Roma coach believes in Champions league comeback

Roma's head coach Eusebio Di Francesco, pictured on April 24, 2018, said he did not believe the Serie A title race was over

Milan (AFP) – Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco insisted Sunday his side firmly believe in their ability to pull off another Champions League comeback despite trailing Liverpool 5-2 after the semi-final first leg.

“We’ve done something extraordinary in the Champions League this season,” Di Francesco told Italian television on Sunday.

“I also came here to send a message — this team has had a great journey and we don’t want to stop now. We want to believe in this comeback, because that is my attitude to life.

“I’m an optimist by nature, football is joy and it must be lived as such. What pushes me on is passion and giving joy to people. I like to leave the celebrating to others at the final whistle, because that’s part of the job.”

Roma need a 3-0 win in the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday to qualify for the final in Kiev, the same situation as in the quarter-finals when they overturned a 4-1 first-leg deficit to beat La Liga champions Barcelona.

Liverpool dramatically beat Roma on penalties in the 1984 European Cup final in the Stadio Olimpico.

Di Francesco added he did not believe the Serie A title race was over despite Juventus opening up a four-point lead on Napoli who lost 3-0 to Fiorentina at the weekend.

“I don’t think the championship speech is over yet but, after today’s match for Napoli, I think Juventus are favourites, even if Juve must come and play us.” 

Third-placed Roma will host Juventus on the penultimate day of the league season.

“Us determinants? Yes, but for ourselves, not for the others,” he added.