Paulo Fonseca warned his AS Roma players they cannot afford any defensive mistakes against one of Europe’s most potent attacks when they face Ajax Amsterdam in the Europa League quarterfinals.
The Italian side travel to the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam for the first leg on Thursday and Fonseca was wary of a side that reached the Champions League semifinals two years ago.
"Ajax are a really good side, it will be tough for us – but I expect it will be tough for them too. We cannot forget that it is not just about tomorrow’s game either – there is also the second leg to come at the Olimpico."
#ASRoma #UEL #AjaxRoma
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) April 7, 2021
“We’re facing a strong opponent. For me, Ajax have one of the best attacks in Europe, with a lot of players who are good in one-on-ones,” Portuguese Fonseca told a news conference on Wednesday.
“The key is to stop making defensive errors. We must not allow them to get close to our goal. After that, it’s also important to have the ball.”
Erik ten Hag masterminded the Dutch club’s Champions League run two years ago, when they knocked out Serie A champions Juventus on their way to the last four, and has led his side 11 points clear at the top of the Eredivisie this season.
However, Atalanta earned a 1-0 win in Amsterdam this season to knock Ajax out of Europe’s top competition at the group stage and extend their winless home run against Italian sides to 10 matches.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) April 7, 2021
“Last time we were knocked out of the Champions League group stage by Atalanta, but we played very well in Bergamo,” Ten Hag said.
“In the Champions League we eliminated Juventus two years ago. I would sign up for the same result now.”