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24th Apr 2018

Rio Ferdinand rips into Roma manager for letting his players down

"I question whether he's even seen Liverpool play this season."

Darragh Murphy

Rio Ferdinand didn’t pull any punches.

Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco has been accused of a remarkable level of naivety for the tactics he employed against Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

The visitors conceded five unanswered goals at Anfield before a glimmer of hope arrived thanks to two late goals from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti.

The Reds ran riot for the majority of the game and Di Francesco’s gameplan was called into question in brutal style by Ferdinand after the match.

“I think the Roma manager has to take full responsibility for the result tonight,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.

“I think that it’s not often we sit here and say that a manager is at fault completely for a team’s performance but I think today, he let his players down with the way he set them up.

“He set them up almost certainly to lose this game with the way that they played a high line at the back against a team that plays quick football.

“I question whether he’s even seen Liverpool play this season the way he set them up.”

Steven Gerrard pointed out that the Serie A side clearly hadn’t learned from their errors against Barcelona at the quarter-final stage and again singled out the manager for blame.

“It’s not the first time [he used a high line],” Gerrard added.

“He did it against Barcelona and they were lucky that the players bailed him out to come back in Rome.

“Liverpool won’t let that happen, I don’t think. They’ve got too much to let that happen.”