Benatia: Roma are not in crisis

The Bayern Munich centre-back has dismissed suggestions that the Serie A outfit are in crisis after a string of poor results in the league and Europe

Former Roma defender Mehdi Benatia sees no crisis at the Italian club despite a run of just two wins in their last eight games in all competitions.

Roma suffered a 2-0 Champions League defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich on Wednesday, with Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze on target either side of half-time.

Yet Benatia, whose Bayern side ran out 7-1 victors in the reverse fixture, believes his old club can still qualify from Group E ahead of CSKA Moscow and Manchester City.

“They’re still in the hunt, I don’t see where this ‘crisis’ is. They lost to Bayern but I don’t see problems,” Benatia told Sky Sport Italia.

“Roma are strong, and always will be.

“Are Roma in trouble? Certainly they’ve had easier times, but I know the team, and I know the group and the players – they have character, the desire to win, to do well.”

With two rounds of games to play, Roma are level on points with CSKA and two ahead of English champions City.

Bayern fear lengthy Alaba absence

The 22-year-old picked up a knee injury in the win over Roma and Pep Guardiola thinks he could be out of action until after Christmas

Bayern Munich have received some disappointing news on the injury front in the aftermath of their 2-0 Champions League win over Roma on Wednesday evening, with David Alaba facing a spell on the sidelines with a knee problem.

The Austria international was forced to leave the pitch in the closing stages of the game at the Allianz Arena and the German champions have now confirmed that he will undergo further tests on Thursday to clarify the extent of the damage.

“David Alaba picked up a medial collateral ligament injury in the match. There will be further tests in the morning. Get well soon!,” Bayern announced on their official Twitter handle.

Head coach Pep Guardiola fears that the versatile left-back could be out of action for the remainder of 2014.

“With David Alaba we lose a great lad and a great player. He can play nearly every position on the field. He is very important for us,” the former Barcelona boss said.

“We just hope he will come back as soon as possible, but I think we will see him just after Christmas.”

Alaba has been a key player for Bayern so far this season, scoring twice in 17 appearances in all competitions.

Roma played without fear against Bayern, insists Garcia

Two weeks after seeing his side routed 7-1 at the Olimpico, the Frenchman was full of praise for his troops’ resilience in Bavaria but admitted that their hosts are on another l…

Rudi Garcia has voiced his satisfaction with Roma’s performance in their 2-0 Champions League loss against Bayern Munich, dismissing suggestions that they were afraid of their opponents.

The Serie A side employed a defensive strategy in Wednesday’s encounter at the Allianz Arena in order to avoid a repeat of the 7-1 loss at the Stadio Olimpico two weeks ago, but Pep Guardiola’s side once more proved to be too strong for the Giallorossi.

However, Garcia saw plenty of reasons for optimism in the wake of his side’s defeat and denied that they had merely engaged in an exercise of damage limitation.

“We showed character and pride. Perhaps we could have achieved a better result, but we played against a really good team,” Garcia said at the post-match press conference.

“We prepared two strategies. We tried to achieve a good result – we played without fear, we ran a lot and we did attack quite early with our strikers. Of course we tried to counterattack.

“They created two and a half chances and they scored two goals. We could have created more ourselves – when we had an opportunity they had [Manuel] Neuer, one of the best goalkeepers in the world.”

Garcia then went on to praise Bayern and stated it is impossible to fight for possession at the Allianz Arena due to their efficient pressing.

“Bayern are one of the best teams in the world. We cannot fight for possession against them, it is not possible in Munich. Their pressing is very impressive; sometimes it seems they have an extra man out there.

“We did not give them too much space and they did not create as much as during the first game. I think we can be proud of our team and how we played tonight. We tried to be very compact and wanted to play aggressively.”

Roma realised defending was their only chance, says Lahm

The midfielder says he can understand why the Giallorossi abandoned their usually adventurous tactics in light of their 7-1 mauling at the Olimpico two weeks ago

Philipp Lahm believes Roma had no other option but to defend if they were to avoid another thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s Champions League encounter.

The Serie A outfit were beaten 7-1 at the Stadio Olimpico two weeks ago and opted for a defensive strategy in the reverse fixture in order to avoid a repeat.

Bayern once more emerged victorious at the Allianz Arena, however, with Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze helping them to a 2-0 win.

“Roma learned from the reverse fixture that you have to play defensively against us,” Lahm told the official Uefa website.

“They did that and at times played with six at the back, so it was not easy to create chances. That made getting the opening goal all the more important – it set us up to push on in the second half.”

Wednesday’s results saw Bayern secure top spot in Group E, allowing them to turn their focus to the Bundesliga for the time being, much to the delight of Lahm.

“We have won the group now, so we can focus all our energies on the Bundesliga,” the World Cup winner enthused.

Bayern resume Bundesliga action against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. Pep Guardiola’s unbeaten outfit are currently four points clear of Wolfsburg, after 10 rounds of action.

De Rossi: Bayern are just better

The Roma midfielder revealed his side took countermeasures to curtail the free-scoring Germans but admitted it was not enough after their 2-0 defeat

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi admits his side had to accept they were second best against Bayern Munich after Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat.

Destroyed in the reverse fixture 7-1 two weeks ago, the Serie A side delivered a much-improved performance at the Allianz Arena, although goals from Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze were enough to seal Bayern’s win.

“We’ve tried, we pretty much admitted that they are better and took counter-measures that were not enough to gain some points, but we made a completely different impression,” said the Italy international to Mediaset.

“The first half against Bayern and the game against Napoli were two episodes. We will restart on Sunday, which is perhaps even more important.”

Roma boss Rudi Garcia believes the Giallorossi’s display was good enough to erase the memory of their thrashing on matchday three and even feels they could have earned a share of the spoils but the for the exploits of Manuel Neuer.

“We know Bayern are a great team and they showed that once again tonight. Tactically and mentally we got our approach right. It’s a shame we let in two, they didn’t have that many chances,” he told Sky Italia.

“We posed a threat but didn’t get many shots in – when we did we were thwarted by Neuer, the best in the world. I’m happy with the performance of my players, even if we lost. We have erased the bad game of the first leg.”