Rudi Garcia, Roma manager, has urged his side to forget Monday (16/3) 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico. Roma’s fate was initially sealed by the goals from Lorenzo De Silvestri and Luis Murel, and the defeat has ended their chances of beating Juventus to the Serie A title.
Before the day match, Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan admitted that their main aim is to defend “our second position in the table”. Garcia’s men felt a sense of urgency ahead of home match against Sampdoria, including “added pressure of knowing that we have to win”, according to Nainggolan; but they cannot do anything to change the result.
After spurning a number of chances in the first hour, Garcia’s squad were undone by the goals from the Sampdoria’s side. A late red card for Sydou Keita compounded the misery of the home side, who now looking over their shoulders at Lazio, who have closed to within a point.
The captain Fransesco Totti was recalled as starter after being sidelined due to injury, while Nainggolan was forced to sit out through suspension. While Sampdoria replaced Afriyie Acquah with Roberto Soriano and Muriel with Stefano Okaka.
Juventus as the league leaders are 14 points clear of Garcia’s team, and they have shown little proof that they can close the gap. The Giallorossi have recorded just two winds from their last 12 games and are now just a point ahead of third-placed Lazio and four clear of Napoli with 11 matches left. However, Garcia holds his statement that his men are still playing good football.
On the other hand, the coach keeps on ensuring his men that they need to look forward, heal the pain and get over the defeat.
Everybody knows that scoring goals has been the problem for Roma. Garcia’s men have struggled to find the net and in their last nine league matches they have only scored more than one goal once. “Today’s defeat means we have more sides closing in on us and we have to make up the points we dropped tonight next Sunday,” said Garcia, optimistically.
While their upcoming opponent, Fiorentina, are up next in the Europe League on Thursday night and, with the tie balanced after the sides drew 1-1- in Florence, Garcia demanded his men to focus on reaching the last-eight. “For now our only concern is beating Fiorentina and getting through to the next round,” Garcia added.
Garcia also stated that his team will think about Serie A again after the upcoming Europa League match.