Nainggolan: ‘Red cards changed tie’

Radja Nainggolan felt Roma “couldn’t done much more” if it weren’t for the three red cards in two legs against Porto.

The Giallorossi had Thomas Vermaelen sent off 41 minutes into the first leg, a 1-1 draw, while Daniele De Rossi and Emerson Palmieri saw red in tonight’s 3-0 home defeat.

Serie A sides have lost six of the last eight Champions League play-offs, suggesting this is a long-standing psychological and physical issue.

Radja Nainggolan felt Roma “couldn’t done much more” if it weren’t for the three red cards in two legs against Porto.

The Giallorossi had Thomas Vermaelen sent off 41 minutes into the first leg, a 1-1 draw, while Daniele De Rossi and Emerson Palmieri saw red in tonight’s 3-0 home defeat.

Serie A sides have lost six of the last eight Champions League play-offs, suggesting this is a long-standing psychological and physical issue.

“I think that even after the first goal we had chances, but it was the same as the first leg. If it was 11 against 11, we could’ve done much more,” Nainggolan told Mediaset Premium.

“Going down to nine, a goal down, it’s normal you have to take risks and leave spaces at the back.

“We must learn from these errors, because we could’ve done so much more.

“I think we are mature enough to focus on Serie A and hopefully we can go far in the Europa League. That can be our new objective.

“Now we have to focus on Sunday so we can win in Serie A.

“We showed great heart, because it’s not easy to play with nine men. We had the chances to equalise and it would’ve been a different game.

“On the positive side, everyone gave their all and that’s important going forward.”

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