Roma captain Daniele De Rossi has accused Liverpool of being a long-ball team after his side’s Champions League semi-final first leg defeat at Anfield.
The Italian side were ripped apart as Mohamed Salah – against his old club – inspired the Reds into a 5-0 lead, before Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti scored in the final 10 minutes to give them a glimmer of hope.
For a period of the game the Giallorossi looked totally incapable of dealing with the Premier League side, something De Rossi believes is down to Jurgen Klopp’s team’s bypassing of the midfield.
The Italian told Mediaset Premium: ‘Not having seen the game back, it would be wrong for me to give a tactical view of what happened.
‘Liverpool are strong, let’s not forget, and they did very well, but we had 20-25 very good minutes at the start.
‘They constantly went for the long ball, from any area of the pitch, and it’s difficult to cover that space when there are players who are always faster than you.
‘We got the feeling they were going over the midfield completely, so we couldn’t intercept the ball.’
Roma came from three goals behind to beat Barcelona in the quarter-finals but De Rossi admits he is worried by how easily his team were sliced apart at Anfield.
‘The only difference is that against Barcelona I saw a game that was unlucky, with many dubious incidents,’ the 34-year-old continued.
‘Here we started strong, but then suffered under their pace and the ferocity of their attacks. We have to learn those lessons for the second leg.
‘We felt at the Nou Camp that we were really in it and could certainly break them down. Here, we had a total black-out.
‘We still need three goals, Liverpool are on the same level as Barcelona, so we know it’s possible. It can be done and we’ve done it before.’