Udinese coach Andrea Sottil explains how he prepared the 4-0 demolition of Jose Mourinho’s Roma and created an identity for his team. ‘This side has devastating transitions in its DNA.’



The Friulani are now level with Roma on 10 points after this incredible 4-0 victory at the Dacia Arena, a mixture of clinical counter-attacking football and making the most of some terrible Giallorossi individual errors.

This was their third consecutive victory after beating Monza 2-1, Fiorentina 1-0 and Roma 4-0.

They had started more shakily, losing 4-2 to Milan after initially taking the lead and drawing 0-0 with Salernitana.

“We’re in a good period of form, the team is growing, we’re in great shape physically and focused on pressing the opponents a bit higher, regardless of who they happen to be,” Sottil told DAZN.

“I am trying to create our identity with the lads, hoping to improve the performances game by game. The team was extraordinary tonight, created so many chances, had rapid counter-attacks, as this side has in its DNA that tendency for devastating transitions.

“We allowed Roma very little, closed up the spaces through the centre where they tend to excel and neutralised them.”

Sottil sets Udinese out with a 3-5-2 formation, using Udogie and Pereyra as very attack-minded wing-backs.

“Our decision was not just to chase after Roma the way we did with Fiorentina, but to play our football. Introducing Tolgay and Samardzic was the plan to control the midfield and make it more difficult for them and it worked well.

“We moved the ball to feet, quickly, just as we prepared.”

Pereyra was a key to the transitions from defence to attack and is playing in a slightly wider role than he was previously accustomed to.

“Tucu is an extraordinary player, someone we can anchor the team on and create chances. If we defend with four and then attack leaving three at the back, he can always be up there to create.”

This is Sottil’s debut season in Serie A as a coach, so how far can his Udinese realistically go?

“The squad is very competitive, it has two players in every role, every day we work to improve and I am trying to keep everyone involved. That must be our strength, that everyone is part of the project.

“When it comes to ambition, we must be aware of our capabilities, as we showed today and against Fiorentina, but keep our feet on the ground and keep improving day by day.

“I played for Udinese many years ago and I know the credo of the club is humility, determination and facing opponents with an incredible football ferocity. That is what I saw tonight.”

Sottil added that he worked with many coaches during his career and the one he used as inspiration the most was former Udinese boss Luciano Spalletti, who is now at the helm of Napoli.

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