Posted on February 20, 2008
Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster was left frustrated after his side slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Roma in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Stadio Olimpico
Having failed to progress to the quarter-finals for the last three years, the Primera Liga leaders had hoped to take charge of the tie in Italy, but it was not to be.
Mancini’s second-half strike gave Roma the edge in the tie after David Pizarro had cancelled out Raul’s opener.
“We cannot be happy with the result,” Schuster said. “We have done enough good things in the whole game to have deserved a better result.
“At least we scored an away goal.
“The outcome is the only negative aspect that we take home.”
Real, who dominated possession, did have clear-cut chances, with Raul’s first-half header going wide and Royston Drenthe being denied by the crossbar late in the game.
However, it was Roma that made the most of their opportunities.
“It’s a pity because we had opportunities to at least level the score,” Schuster continued.
“But we lacked effectiveness something which Roma had tonight.
“Roma has its own philosophy and we have to respect it, it’s not similar to ours but it helps them to be successful.”
Schuster is nevertheless confident his team can overturn the result in the return leg.
“We are getting better,” he said. “We are improving and I am optimistic.
“I am not disappointed by my team and I’m not surprised by Roma.”
Real will have to do without defender Sergio Ramos for the return leg at the Bernabeu, with the Spain international suspended after picking up a booking on Tuesday.
This was a situation Schuster had hoped to avoid, with Pepe, Marcelo and Christoph Metzelder all unavailable through injury.
“We are going to suffer without Sergio Ramos,” he said.
“But then again I have only had my full defence for one game (through injuries) and that was against Barcelona.
“For these types of games and for our future encounters in the Champions League I would like to have more players available.”
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti was full of praise for his side as they finally ended their negative run at home against the Spanish giants.
The Giallorossi had failed to beat Real in their previous three encounters at the Stadio Olimpico.
“I must congratulate my players,” he said. “We have played a great game and we made use of our counter-attack opportunities.
“My players have shown maturity. It wasn’t easy to come back against Real when you concede an early goal against them but we’ve been patient and we’ve been rewarded.”