ROME - AS Roma striker Marco Borriello
has taken the blame for their 6-2 aggregate loss to Shakhtar
Donetsk in the Champions League last 16 after missing a penalty
he should not even have taken.
The Ukrainians reached the quarter-finals for the first time
with a 3-0 win in their home second leg on Tuesday but
Borriello's 28th-minute penalty miss at 1-0 was a turning point
given Roma had started the game well.
With usual penalty taker and captain Francesco Totti
surprisingly kept on the bench all game, David Pizarro was the
assigned player having scored a spot-kick in Friday's 2-1 Serie A
win at Lecce but Borriello decided to shoot himself.
"I assume the responsibility for having missed the penalty,
I wanted to take it, it could have changed the game," Borriello
told reporters before having a little dig at new coach Vincenzo
Montella, who replaced Claudio Ranieri following the first leg.
"Montella took the duties away from me without talking to
me. When Totti wasn't there in the past, I've taken them."
Montella was more annoyed with defender Philippe Mexes for
being sent off for two yellow cards after 41 minutes than he was
"I can say that we go out with our heads held high. I'm
annoyed for other reasons, too much tension, too many pointless
bookings. At this level you can't present them with an extra man
for 50 minutes," 36-year-old rookie coach Montella said.
"At Lecce, Pizarro was the penalty taker and it was him
tonight too. Borriello asked him if he could take it and he let
him take it. Penalties can be missed.
"Next time I'll take it," joked the interim boss, nicknamed
the 'little aeroplane' for his celebrations while Roma forward.
The fact the coach was able to joke shows the mood in the
camp is not totally desolate even if fans will wonder why their
talisman and Montella's former strike partner Totti never saw
any action if he was fit enough for the bench.
Roma, irrespective of the 3-2 first leg loss in Rome, were
never going to win the competition and their exit allows
Montella to concentrate on trying to propel the side further up
Serie A and qualify for next season's tournament.
The cash-strapped club, who could be bought by American
consortium Di Benedetto soon to receive a financial boost, are
sixth in Serie A after two wins and a draw under Montella and
are five points behind fourth-placed Lazio ahead of Sunday's
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