Belgian manager Georges Leekens has been appointed coach of the Algerian national...
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Montella: Salah and Gomez played well together
“In physical terms they did much more to begin with, but in the second half we did well and threatened to win it,” said Montella in his post-match press conference, as translated by Football Italia.
“I have to compliment my lads, as they were able to keep their heads after a difficult start. We had fun and are satisfied with the result.
“We slowly adapted to the English style and their tempo, but struggled with that at the beginning. The problem is that our football involves training perhaps too much, yet we still move more slowly than the others.”
Egyptian international Mohamed Salah, who has starred for the Viola since joining on loan from Chelsea this month, partnered Germany international Mario Gomez in attack for the first time, a partnership the coach praised, although admitting the key to the game was switching from 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3 system.
“That was part of the plan. Perhaps we suffered a little with three at the back, but did well to react. Mohamed Salah and Mario Gomez were always in the game, both physically and psychologically. It was their first time playing together and they did well.”
Fiorentina will host Tottenham in the second leg next week at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.