Spalletti backs De Rossi

Roma chief supports midfielder after spot-kick shame

Spalletti: Few complaints

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Roma coach Luciano Spalletti refused to criticise Daniele De Rossi after his crucial penalty miss as Manchester United progressed to the Champions League semi-finals.

"Man United are really strong and they showed it."

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The English champions won 2-0 in Italy in the first leg but Roma had a great chance to get themselves back into the tie as Alessandro Mancini won a 28th-minute penalty.

The chance was wasted, though, as De Rossi blazed his spot-kick high over the crossbar and Carlos Tavez struck in the 70th minute to give United a 1-0 win at Old Trafford and seal their passage into the last four.

"The penalty would have changed the match but it's possible to miss," Spalletti told Rai tv.

Responsibility

"Daniele usually scores them, but sometimes it happens, and he had the character to take the responsibility.

"It's a pity because these are really important matches, which make the mistake more significant."

Roma enjoyed the bulk of possession against an under-strength United side but were unable to create any clear-cut opportunities.

And although the Giallorossi were dumped out of the quarter-finals by United for the second year running, Spalletti was pleased with the effort shown by his players.

"We had few situations go in our favour so we had to take a few risks and we made a few openings but we didn't finish them," he added.

"Man United are really strong and they showed it this evening too, but I can't criticise my players. My guys have done well."