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Roma not ready to throw in the towel

Published: Thursday 17 February 2011, 9.10CET
Nicolás Burdisso says AS Roma can still reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals despite a 3-2 home loss to FC Shakhtar Donetsk and keeper Doni agreed: "We can still do it."
by Richard Aikman
from Rome

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Published: Thursday 17 February 2011, 9.10CET

Roma not ready to throw in the towel

Nicolás Burdisso says AS Roma can still reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals despite a 3-2 home loss to FC Shakhtar Donetsk and keeper Doni agreed: "We can still do it."

Despite finding himself on the losing side after conceding three goals at home in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg, defender Nicolás Burdisso insists AS Roma can overturn their 3-2 disadvantage against FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

we treated Shakhtar as if we were playing Barcelona
Nicolás Burdisso
This is a very talented Roma side but we are prone to the occasional ten-minute meltdown
Daniele De Rossi

It was a night that started so well for the Giallorossi when Răzvan Raţ's own goal gave them the lead after 28 minutes. Indeed that goal might have made it 2-0 had Burdisso himself not missed a free header seven minutes earlier; instead Roma then conceded three in a horrendous 12-minute spell that meant the hosts were booed off the pitch at half-time. Jérémy Menez's second-half strike gave Roma hope, however – and Burdisso belief in a comeback in the return on 8 March.

"We have to realise we can do it in Ukraine," said the 29-year-old. "We'll have to play differently but we can do it. We know we can win the away leg because today we played a very attacking match. We took a lot of risks because we decided to press them high up. For us, we treated Shakhtar as if we were playing Barcelona. We knew we were in for a tough match all along, and they played very well and chose the right moment to score their goals. But they were also a bit lucky."

Roma goalkeeper Doni also tried to look on the bright side, citing his team's improved second-half display. "Anything is possible," he said. "Clearly the result makes them favourites, but we still have time to put things right ahead of the return leg and qualify for the next stage. Today we had a bad first half. In the second, we showed more fight and tried to get back in the match, but unfortunately we only managed to score one goal. Conceding three goals like that in 15 minutes [before half-time] was a huge mistake – the first and the third hit us hardest as they scored when we were playing quite well."

Midfielder Daniele De Rossi, meanwhile, gave an interesting insight into the reasons for Roma's run of three defeats in four outings. "This is a very talented Roma side but we are prone to the occasional ten-minute meltdown. We will need time before becoming a great side again in terms of consistent results. It's not easy for any team to cope with conceding a goal in the Champions League, especially an away goal that is worth double. The difference is, the great teams have that little bit extra – when things get most difficult they stay calm and lucid and know exactly how to react to adversity."

Last updated: 27/11/12 16.26CET

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