Roma 0-2 Man United: what Italy's papers had to say

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The Italian newspapers are as baffled as the AS Roma players.

How on earth did Manchester United leave the Stadio Olimpico with what appears to be an unassailable 2-0 lead from the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final?

“Italy 0-3 England,” was how Corriere dello Sport summed it up. “After Milan and Inter, Roma are also beaten at home by the English,” they added.

United complete a hat-trick of English wins on Italian soil

La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed that the difference between the sides was that United had Cristiano Ronaldo available while Roma were without chief creator Francesco Totti.

The injured Giallorossi captain was putting his feet up in front of the television and watching the game at home. The good news is that Totti should be fit for the return next week and certainly the Romans are not giving up just yet. They point to the fact that they scored twice at the Bernabeu in the last round.

Then again, that was against Real Madrid who no one in Italy rates anyway.

Coach Luciano Spalletti maintained that his side made all the running but saluted Sir Alex’s tactics with the biggest compliment an Italian coach can pay a foreign counterpart.

“Many people say Italian sides are defensive and play on the counter-attack but this Manchester United team is the most Italian side I have seen in this sense.”

Tuttosport were also full of praise for United and their two ‘Rs’: Ronaldo and Rooney. In their words, the pair ‘annihilated’ Roma and taught Spalletti’s men another lesson.

Apart from Mirko Vucinic’s spirited display in attack, the dailies were scathing in handing out the player ratings for the rest of the team. Full-back Marco Cassetti was described as “a rabbit in the headlights” when faced by Ronaldo. Rodrigo Taddei was "a disaster". And Alberto Aquilani "a ghost".

Taddei (left) and Cassetti (right) ridiculed in Italian press

Roma will be hoping that the trip to Old Trafford doesn’t turn into another nightmare: 7-1 anyone?

Meanwhile, on the transfer front, Corriere dello Sport, Gazzetta and Tuttosport all gave prominence to reports coming out of France that Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini had agreed to sign for Juventus – although they claimed that Milan were ready to derail the move with a counter offer of their own.