Spalletti hails defensive display after derby win

Luciano Spalletti sang the praises of his Roma defenders after their 4-1 victory over fierce rivals Lazio.

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti chose to praise his defenders rather than forwards after their 4-1 derby victory over Lazio in Serie A.

Goals from Stephan El Shaarawy, Edin Dzeko, Alessandro Florenzi and Diego Perotti secured a comfortable win for Spalletti's side, and a double over Lazio – who sacked Stefano Pioli after the defeat – this season.

While Roma's forwards were described as "exceptional" by the head coach, it was the resolute defending that pleased Spalletti the most.

"The whole team deserves great credit for this victory. Everyone tackled the game perfectly, including when Lazio came back into the contest.

"For sure, you need to get through that moment when the opposition come at you and that's precisely what you need to add to your game and do what least comes naturally to us, i.e. defending.

"Everybody did well at that moment, and Kostas Manolas and Antonio Rudiger in particular were exceptional."

Victory gives third-placed Roma a seven-point cushion over Fiorentina, while Napoli are only four ahead of Spalletti's side – with the two due to meet at Stadio Olimpico on April 25.

He added: "Obviously we need to keep an eye on what's going on around us and make sure we're ready for anything.

"Four points off Napoli is a big gap, even if they still have to come to the Olimpico.

"They're a great side and it won't be easy to overcome them. We'll have to be on top form to win."

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