Spalletti pleased with Roma’s effort

AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti says his team fought well both in attack and defence following their 0-0 draw against Astra Ploiesti in the Europa League.

The Serie A giants finished at the summit of Group D after picking up 12 points from their six games played, with Spalletti reserving praise for his side's performance in Romania on Thursday.

"It was a difficult game on an equally tough pitch," he said in post-match comments.

"Tactically they just sat on the edge of their box which made it hard to find pockets of space. The playing surface also made it tricky to play through balls and catch them off guard.

"We tried up top and absolutely gave it everything. We played very well defensively. They stretched the pitch and we had to deal with a number of 1v1s," he added.

The 57-year-old mentor who selected a weakened starting-eleven said he was pleased with the performances of some of the fringe players.

"From a individual perspective we played some good stuff and we gave some playing time to those that needed it.

"[Stephan] El Shaarawy could have played for an hour after his injury, while Gerson put in a good performance tonight in terms of his positioning and quality on the ball.

"It wasn't easy with so many numbers in there. He bossed the middle of the park. They did indeed respond tonight," he said.