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SPAL shock Roma to hand Claudio Ranieri his first loss

183   //    17 Mar 2019, 02:01 IST

SPAL v AS Roma - Serie A
SPAL v AS Roma - Serie A

Claudio Ranieri led Roma to an important victory in his first game back with the club last week against Empoli, but did not have the same fortune on Saturday evening. A win would have put Roma level on points with Inter for fourth place ahead of the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday. However, Ranieri's men could not get the job done as they fell 2-1 away to relegation battlers SPAL at the Stadio Paolo Mazza.

“We played against a team and we were not a team. Effort without organisation is not enough,” the tactician told Sky Sport Italia following his club's 2-1 defeat.

“We lost practically every duel, especially the ones played to feet, and you could see their desperation. SPAL then tried to stall and waste time in the second half, which I fully understand in their circumstances."

“There are some players who don’t have these characteristics, others are lacking confidence at the moment, but between the two sides, SPAL were certainly more determined.”

He also warned both players and fans alike that there will be repercussions if the club fail to finish in the top four and do not qualify for Europe's most prestigious club competition next season.

“If Roma go into the Champions League, that is one thing. If they don’t, then quite a few will get a change of scenery. I’ve told the lads since the first day, they have to prove themselves."

Roma are now at risk to fall even further behind in the Serie A table with Atalanta and Lazio hot on their heels. Lazio are currently five points back but have two games in hand on their bitter rivals.

Claudio Ranieri took over for Eusebio Di Francesco following the club's Champions League exit in the Round of 16 at the hands of Porto. He was only named as the club's caretaker manager though and it remains to be seen if he will be at the helm at the start of next season.

Things do not get any easier for the Giallorossi either as they take on Napoli in a crucial affair following the international break on March 31st.