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Di Francesco under fire as Roma owner ‘disgusted’ by Bologna defeat

Milan (AFP) – Roma’s American owner James Pallotta said Sunday he was “disgusted” after the Serie A giants plunged further into crisis with a 2-0 defeat in Bologna piling the pressure on under-fire coach Eusebio Di Francesco.

Roma – last year’s third placed team in Serie A — are in 12th position after five games with just five points after Bologna scored their first goals of the season, and achieved their first win.

“I am disgusted,” the club’s billionaire chairman Pallotta told RomaPress.US.

Eusebio Di Francesco’s side have now gone six games in all competitions without a win.

They won their opening Serie A game against Torino, but were held by Atalanta and Chievo, and lost to AC Milan and Bologna.

Last year’s Champions League semi-finalists also fell 3-0 to holders Real Madrid in Spain midweek.

The club has been struggling to rebuild after losing goalkeeper Alisson to Liverpool during the summer with midfielders Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman also exiting the Italian capital.

And they were at a loss to convert their possession into goals at the Dall’Ara Stadium with Federico Mattiello curling in Bologna’s first of the season after 36 minutes with Paraguayan Federuci Santander adding the second after 59 minutes.

“I’m not the type to look for excuses, I need solutions and I can not find them,” said Di Francesco.

“The facts condemn us, they condemn me.

“We’re all trying to find answers and that’s something I have to take care of internally. I’ve failed to do that so far and I feel I’m one of those to blame. 

“If you have 74 percent possession and lose 2-0, it means something is missing in your attitude. If you lose every duel with Bologna, then you weren’t determined enough.

“It’s about desire, timing and fire. You can’t teach that, I’ve been a player and I know what it means to be out there.”

– ‘Don’t blame the coach’ –

Next weekend Roma face bitter city rivals Lazio, who saw off Genoa 4-1 on Sunday with Ciro Immobile scoring a double, to move up to fifth place.

Before the derby Roma will try to boost morale against Frosinone midweek with Lazio heading to Udinese, who won 2-0 at Chievo.

“We thought it would be a very different game, perhaps the first goal took our legs out from under us,” said captain Daniele De Rossi.

“We will have to analyse these mistakes, there are still a lot of games to go – the season is still completely up to us.

“Something isn’t working right now and we need to find the reasons amongst ourselves, facing up to it square in the eye.

“This is the same coach that led us to the semi-finals of the Champions League. 

“I don’t see why we should put the blame all on him. To beat Bologna and Chievo you don’t need to have (Pep) Guardiola in the dugout. As players, we must take responsibility.

“It does not seem to me the time to be blaming the coach.”

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