Luciano Spalletti agreed with Radja Nainggolan’s assessment that Roma wouldn’t have emerged victorious from such a tight game with AC Milan last season, following their 1-0 win on Monday.
Nainggolan netted the only goal as Roma edged their league rivals, where goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved a penalty from M’Baye Niang with the game still poised at 0-0.
Following the win, Spalletti gave his thoughts to the club's official website.
He said: "If he's (Nainggolan) talking about the grit and determination we showed, our willingness to make a fight of it, then yes, I'd definitely agree. But Nainggolan won a few games last year too!
"We came up against a stubborn Milan side tonight and it was hard.
"Vincenzo Montella is right when he says that Milan are back at the top table. We can expect to see them there or thereabouts come the end of the season too.
"They started the season under the radar and they don't have so many big names but they've got plenty of quality about them. We did really well to come away with the win."
Szczesny, who conceded the 27th-minute penalty after upending Gianluca Lapadula in the box, has revealed it wasn't down to luck that he kept out Niang from the spot.
He explained: "Today it was a matter of watching Niang’s last few penalties and I noticed that every time he misses a penalty he changes the corner.
"He missed right last time so, yes, I just hoped that he did that again and went to the left.
"So it’s not just what happens on the pitch but how you study big players before the game."
He added: "I wasn’t very happy about saving [the penalty], it was more of a relief – because the penalty came from my mistake. I didn’t have to come out, the least I could do for my team was to correct my own mistake and save the penalty. It was a big relief."
The club has, meanwhile, issued a brief statement as to the state of an injury sustained by Bruno Peres that forced him off during Monday's 1-0 win.
The statement read: "On Monday evening Bruno Peres underwent preliminary tests which excluded any fractures but revealed a sprain.
"As a result, Peres will undergo further checks in the next 24-48 hours to determine the exact prognosis and the most suitable treatment options."