Roma boss Daniele De Rossi admits Bayer Leverkusen have the fear factor

Posted Thursday, May 02, 2024 by PA

Roma boss Daniele De Rossi admits Bayer Leverkusen have the fear factor

Daniele De Rossi admitted Roma “should fear everything” about Bayer Leverkusen ahead of the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.

While a Jose Mourinho-led Roma edged out Leverkusen at the exact same stage of the competition 12 months ago, the German side are an entirely different proposition under Xabi Alonso this season.

Leverkusen have already swept to the Bundesliga title, knocking giants Bayern Munich off their perch, and will be looking to extend their unbeaten competitive record this term to 47 matches on Thursday.

Ahead of Leverkusen’s trip to the Stadio Olimpico, De Rossi said: “We should fear everything about them, starting with the way they play. They play superb football and have had so many good results.

“There’s a lot for us to worry about and one thing we must be very respectful of is the fact they’re still unbeaten despite often having fallen behind in games.

“They’ve also often gone on to win matches after conceding an equaliser. Besides being a great team, they have this incredible belief and tenacity to keep chasing the game even when it might seem lost.

“That’s one of the things I fear about them but there are many others that are more technical than mental and that’s why I have so much respect for them.”

The Roma head coach also rejected any suggestion Leverkusen have had some fortune this season, adding at his pre-match press conference: “Luck is for people who go to casinos.”

Roma were one of the last teams to beat Leverkusen, whose hopes of reaching last year’s showpiece was dashed by Edoardo Bove’s goal in the Italian capital before a goalless draw in the return leg.

Alonso said at his press conference: “It’s important for us to be back here in the semi-final, the last time hurt. Now we have a second chance against Roma.

“They are a different team, they have changed a lot. We are awaiting an intense game.”


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