Roma coach Vincenzo Montella paid tribute to his team’s resilience after they survived a late equaliser to win 2-1 away to Udinese.The visitors led from the 57th minute at the Stadio Friuli courtesy of a Francesco Totti penalty.
Udinese looked to have salvaged a point when Antonio Di Natale leveled with three minutes remaining.
But club stalwart Totti was on hand again to net the winner in added time, leaving Montella praising the effort shown by his players.
“After the equaliser it was difficult to find that determination to pour forward, but we did the same at Lecce and I’m very happy,” Montella said, referring to another 2-1 victory secured late in an away match on March 4.
“We also risked losing this game … but this is part of football and I am happy with the attitude of the players.”
“Unfortunately we hardly ever manage to maintain the same intensity and quality for an entire match, but when you see this determination in the second half, then it means the team spirit is there.”
“I don’t know why, but before the game I had an inkling we’d be given a penalty and Francesco would miss it. I didn’t tell him that, though.”
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin was left fuming after the referee disallowed a goal because of a handball from Kwadwo Asamoah.
Guidolin felt a penalty should have been awarded in Asamoah’s favour following what he saw as a foul from Roma man Simone Perrotta.
“It is difficult for me to remain in my usual limits of not discussing the officials,” Guidolin said.
“The referee cannot have seen the incident clearly, because Simone Perrotta’s push on Asamoah was so very obvious. Then in the very next move, Roma scored.”
“I don’t want to go over the line, even if this was an evening in which we could’ve eliminated one of the contenders for the Champions League. Instead we let them back into the race.”
“One must always maintain a certain balance and have faith in our referees, who do a difficult job. But that was obviously a penalty on Asamoah. Evidently he didn?t see the incident and I accept the result.”
Roma are now three points behind Udinese, who occupy the last Champions League qualification berth in fourth place.
Both teams have six matches of the league campaign left to play.