Lyon take control of Europa League tie as Roma slump continues

Corriere della Sera (Luca Valdisseri) Luciano Spalletti, when he’s talking about football and not being hounded by an unhappy press, is almost always right. And when you compare to what he was able to bring to the Roma side that dominated their Champions League tie against an infinitely stronger Lyon side than this one, he wasn’t wrong when – on the eve of the game – he said that he had “become worse at everything”. That Roma side, in 2007, was spectacular and won 2-0 with goals from Totti and Amantino Mancini. This current side were beaten 4-2 in their Europa League Round of 16 first leg, bursting like a balloon in the second half after having gone in 2-1 up at half time.

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Luciano Spalletti: Roma will never win if they continue like this

Il Tempo (Adriano Serafini) A nightmare week, which has reawoken all the demons of the past. Their third consecutive defeat now threatens their European adventure, which could have provided a tired and demoralised team with the energy needed to keep going. It’s a question of maturity, but Roma aren’t able to answer it. At the end of the game, Spalletti didn’t try to hide it either. “We need to put a few things right and talk to each other clearly and in detail. I’m sure we can turn this result around in the second leg, but if we want to do it then we have to change some things. We can’t do it like that.” Like an unsolved problem that rears its head again when you least expect it, the coach was forced to face the same frustrations as he has in the past as his players failed to keep their heads from dropping. “When things go well for us we come out of our shells and express ourselves, but when things go the other way we are players that are very clean in nature.”

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Lyon look to break Italian hoodoo against Roma

Corriere dello Sport (Valentina Clemente) The Europa League tie against Roma is becoming a kind of obsession for Lyon: not much is being said about it – people are talking about other things in the media (like the transfer market) – and president Jean Michel Aulas is ready to put the spotlight on himself if needs be, but the tension is palpable. The idea of defeat is starting to raise its head, a spectre in need of exorcism. History hasn’t been very kind to Lyon when facing Serie A teams and the statistics speak for themselves: nine defeats, six draws and seven victories in all. Even when playing at home, they have lost more than they have won (4 against 3, with another 4 draws). Lyon have been knocked out of European competitions six times by Italian sides; their only positive memory is of a two-legged affair against Lazio in the UEFA Cup in 1995/96, when the French side got the better of the Biancoazzurri by beating them 2-1 at home and 2-0 in the Olimpico.

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Player profile: Who is Roma’s new signing, Clément Grenier?

LaRoma24.it (Gabriele Conflitti) Frederic Massara seems to have now fully taken over the role in the transfer market left to him by Walter Sabatini. The new sporting director has now completed a deal to bring Clément Grenier, the talented Lyon midfielder, to the Giallorossi. While negotiations for Gregoire Defrel, Franck Kessié and Godfred Donsah are still ongoing, Roma have completed their first signing of 2017.

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