It's a horrible feeling - and we controlled the game

  • by Staff Writer
  • Thursday, 8th June 2023

Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Italiano has claimed his team "controlled" the Conference League Final against West Ham United - despite watching his team fall to defeat.

And Italiano, who has been linked with a summer move to Napoli believes his team would have had the upper hand had the game gone to extra time - as was the case until Jarrod Bowen struck the decisive blow in the final minute of normal time.

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And the defeat was especially painful for the 45-year-old in the wake of their Coppa Italia reversal against Inter a fortnight ago.

"We've lost two finals that we played really well and that is a pity, because tonight honestly I could not imagine it ending this way," he told the media following their defeat.

"We played, we had chances, we equalised straight away after a penalty that could’ve killed us. Instead we reacted and could’ve taken the lead with Mandragora.

"Then with this ricochet in midfield, we should’ve given ourselves a few metres of leeway. It would’ve allowed us to reach extra time, when I think we might’ve had a few advantages.

"I’m sad, because the lads were distraught and losing two Finals is really painful," he continued.

"We started the XI that gave us the right balance, as we allowed West Ham barely anything. We played the way you need to play a Final, running few risks and controlling the game.

"Ultimately we were beaten by a soft penalty and a very avoidable goal. I feel we played like a real team today. We handled those situations so well throughout the match, we really did not expect to lose that way.

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"It was a situation we know how to deal with, we know how to interpret it and we didn’t do what we needed to. We could even have taken one for the team with a foul and stopped him, but above all we should’ve tracked back and get a few metres.

"Losing two finals is a horrible feeling, I wish I had never experienced it, but here we are."

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