Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi admitted that his side ‘suffered’ in their 4-0 defeat by Daniele De Rossi’s Roma in the Europa League on Thursday evening, claiming that Roma were the more experienced side and that said experience proved to be vital at the Stadio Olimpico.

Roma rose to a 4-0 victory in the Europa League round of 16 first leg thanks to goals from Paulo Dybala, Romelu Lukaku, Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante.

Brighton’s loss was the heaviest defeat suffered by an English side in European competition in five years.

De Zerbi told Brighton’s club website that Roma were playing at a different speed to the Seagulls, but admitted that the English side performed ‘around 20%’ below their full potential.

We played our game and we gave our best and maybe now our best at this moment is this performance,” De Zerbi said, via Brighton’s club website.

“Roma were much better in terms of showing their experience of playing this type of game and we suffered too much at this level of the competition, which we’re not used to.

“We created a lot of chances, but Roma played with a different speed and habits to win the game. It’s the first time Brighton played in the Europa League last 16 – it’s a big level for us but I know we played 20% less than our potential.”
The two teams will face each other again next Thursday for the return leg at the Amex Stadium in Falmer on the English South Coast.

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