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Roma must shake old habits

Roma
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 By Ben Gladwell

Alessandro Florenzi: Roma excellent despite defeat to Real Madrid

Roma midfielder Alessandro Florenzi said he was "gutted" after his side's 2-0 home defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg.

Florenzi, who said he felt his team had put in one of their best performances of the season despite the scoreline, saw Cristiano Ronaldo's shot deflect off him for the opening goal.

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"I think that was one of our best displays of the season, against a top side that -- come the end of the campaign -- will be in the hunt to win the Champions League along with two or three other teams," Florenzi told the club's official website.

"We played really well tonight and we're gutted about the result. The fans clapped us off at the end, and that means they witnessed a good Roma performance for the full 95 minutes. We're on the right track."

The home side saw a penalty claim waved away by the referee 10 minutes from time when Florenzi went down under the challenge of Dani Carvajal, and the Roma captain said that decision was wrong.

"Occasionally, at times like these, you need a bit of luck and common sense. I'm referring to the penalty we should have been given," he said.

"The referee saw what happened, and ultimately it's his call. But regardless of how it went, I still maintain tonight was one of our best performances of the season. We have to push on from this."

Florenzi's teammate Miralem Pjanic was equally disappointed after what he said had been a "courageous" performance.

"It's very hard to accept," he said. "Madrid are a great side, but they didn't cause us any major problems -- 2-0 is tough and we certainly deserved to score at least one goal. The result doesn't tell the truth.

"It's tough, but we've got to move on. We tried our best and now we have to win in the league."

Coach Luciano Spalletti earlier said the Giallorossi "did pretty well" against a "quality" side and told Mediaset Premium Roma fans had applauded their side off "because they saw great effort and knew we were not rewarded for that effort."

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