Sunday, 18 May 2008

Reaction: Spalletti hails Roma players

Disappointed Roma coach Luciano Spalletti praised his players for keeping the title race alive until the final weekend despite the disappointment of the 1-1 draw with Catania.

The result proved to be irrelevant for the Giallorossi as Inter won their game at Parma 2-0 to clinch the Scudetto. Roma's failure to win allowed Catania to avoid relegation.

"I want to compliment my team," said Spalletti. "We have had to bounce back from 2000 adversities this season.

"We are disappointed not to have won today and we are bitter but I have to hail my players.

"Inter have been better than us today but considering what my players have done this season and how much this club has grown, we would have deserved the Scudetto."

Roma, who had to do without injured captain Francesco Totti for the last four games of the campaign, finished three points behind Inter.

The Giallorossi will still have a chance to avoid finishing the campaign empty handed as they take on Inter in the Coppa Italia final in Rome next weekend.

Catania coach Walter Zenga celebrated the draw as if it had clinched the Scudetto for his team.

"I have to congratulate Inter coach Roberto Mancini," said Zenga. "It's not easy to win the Scudetto three times in a row and he has done just that."

Turning to his team, Zenga said: "We have deserved this result. My team created so many goalscoring chances but Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni made great saves and then we hit the crossbar twice.

"I celebrate this result. This team proved today why it deserves to be in Serie A and it would not have been fair had it gone otherwise.

"In any case we must respect Roma, it's not easy to achieve 82 points in a given season."

Source: PA

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