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Restorative win has Totti looking forward

Captain Francesco Totti hailed an "important win" for AS Roma after their 3-2 defeat of FC Basel 1893 put them in a strong position to reach the knockout stage from Group E.

Francesco Totti scores from the penalty spot
Francesco Totti scores from the penalty spot ©Getty Images

Francesco Totti said AS Roma are now in an "excellent position" to qualify from UEFA Champions League Group E following their crucial 3-2 win away to FC Basel 1893 on Matchday 4.

The Roma captain picked up the Player Rater Top Player award for his efforts at St. Jakob-Park, where the Giallorossi registered their first victory on Swiss soil. "I thought my performance was good, but not exceptional," the 34-year-old forward said. "This was a really important win for us in terms of progress in the Champions League."

Basel midfield prodigy Xherdan Shaqiri recognised the difference a player of Totti's calibre makes to teams competing at the very top. "Anyone who knows football knows what a good player Totti is. He's world class and has consistently performed at the highest level. We saw again how well he holds on to the ball. He can be decisive."

The Serie A side exacted revenge for their 3-1 home defeat two weeks ago, with Jérémy Menez and Totti giving the visitors a first-half springboard before substitute Leandro Greco's 76th-minute strike rendered Alexander Frei and Shaqiri's goals mere consolation. "I'm very happy to have scored what proved the winning goal," said European debutant Greco, 24. "We're in with a great chance of reaching the next round and I'm delighted to have contributed."

Basel created the better opportunities in the second period, leaving Roma talisman Totti all the more appreciative of the three points. "Basel are a very good team, but we managed to win a difficult match so we're delighted."

Even so, the acknowledgement brought little solace to Shaqiri, who felt the hosts were unfortunate to come away empty-handed. "We're very disappointed. We felt we could have got a lot more from the game. We put a lot of pressure on in the second half. I don't think Roma had any chances aside from their goal, but that's what sets the top European teams apart, they make the most of even the slightest chances."

Basel are now bottom of Group E, but the 19-year-old insisted: "We can't let our heads drop and start thinking we can't make it. If we can win our next couple games, we'll see what the other teams do and it may well be that we get through."

Meanwhile, Roma appear to be in good stead to follow FC Bayern München into the knockout stages, although striker Mirko Vučinić warned Claudio Ranieri's charges still have plenty of work to do. "We have to play Bayern at home so that's going to be an interesting one. Then we have Cluj away in December. We need to make sure we take the points there."

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