Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Dzeko: Roma deserved great win for patience against Shakhtar

Dzeko: Roma deserved great win for patience against Shakhtar

The Bosnian striker's 52nd-minute goal proved enough after a 2-1 first-leg loss in Ukraine, with 10-man Shakhtar failing to find the late strike they needed after Ivan Ordets was sent off late on.

However, there was to be no repeat of their win over the Italians to reach the last eight in 2011 as Dzeko settled the tie when he converted Kevin Strootman's through-ball six minutes into the second half.

Roma were subsequently able to see the game out for an aggregate score of 2-2, which saw them through to the quarter-finals thanks to Under's away goal in the first leg.

"This is an extraordinary result because it's not easy to play at these levels", Di Francesco told a press conference. - This is the first time Roma have progressed from a knockout tie in which they have lost the first leg; ending a run of five consecutive knockout tie defeats. And as for our fans - I had goosebumps.

"In terms of organisation, I think we are doing much better and we worked on a few set-play routines too. We need to let this sink in".

After the 31-year-old's proposed move to Chelsea fell through in the winter transfer window, Dzeko helped the balance sheet of the club's USA owner James Pallotta by securing Roma's place in the last eight of Europe's lucrative elite competition.

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Eusebio Di Francesco's side are the second Italian team to advance to the quarter-finals after Juventus, with the draw for the last eight taking place on Friday.

Manager Paulo Fonseca deserves huge praise for the way in which he has equipped his side for Europe's premier club competition, and the attention now turns to the Portuguese manager's future.

"We were so fearless tonight".

"Whatever happens in the Champions League is going to be welcomed and we will face it as a great team, you can be sure about this".

"I feel happy and proud to receive this reward for our hard work".

The Portuguese added: "We had a fantastic (Champions League) campaign as we won all four home games".

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