De Zerbi: Roma showed their experience

Head coach and Pascal Gross reflect on Thursday's defeat in the Stadio Olimpico.

By Bruce Talbot • 07 March 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
An animated Roberto De Zerbi on the touchline in the Stadio Olimpico.

Roberto De Zerbi admitted his team have it all to do after suffering the heaviest defeat by an English club in Europe for five years.

De Zerbi suffered a disappointing return to Italy after Albion conceded twice in each half to give Roma a 4-0 lead to defend at the Amex next Thursday.

He admitted the hosts were more clinical in front of goal. “We played our game and we gave our best and maybe now our best at this moment is this performance,” he said. “Roma were much better in terms of showing their experience of playing this type of game and we suffered too much at this level of the competition, which we’re not used to.

“We created a lot of chances - the same perhaps in numbers - but Roma played with a different speed and habits to win the game. It’s the first time Brighton played in the Europa League last 16 – it’s a big level for us but I know we played 20% less than our potential.

“Now the focus is on Nottingham Forest [on Sunday]. We have to keep going because we want to compete in the Premier League for the rest of the season.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Simon Adingra was a threat throughout down the left-hand side.

Gross: In football, everything is possible

Pascal Gross admitted Albion paid the price for their defensive mistakes in the Stadio Olimpico.

Reflecting on the 4-0 first-leg defeat to AS Roma, the German midfielder said, “We felt we prepared like we always do and we felt really positive before the game.

“I think we conceded a couple of goals which at this level you will get punished for and we didn’t score ourselves.

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi applauds the travelling fans after a difficult night at the Stadio Olimpico.

"We lost the ball in bad areas and we lost some duels, which can happen at this level. All you can do is try and get better.”

Asked whether Albion could still progress Gross added, “In football everything is possible, but we have another 90 minutes on Sunday first.”