Record-breaker Totti rues Manchester misses

30 September 2014 23:49

Francesco Totti felt Roma were unfortunate not to beat Manchester City as the veteran enjoyed a record-breaking UEFA Champions League night.

The 38-year-old former Italy international produced a superb chipped finish in the 23rd minute to cancel out Sergio Aguero’s early penalty, replacing Ryan Giggs as the oldest goalscorer in European club competitions as it ended 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Totti’s display of customary class came during a dominant first-half showing from Rudi Garcia’s side, who have won all five Serie A outings this season and thrashed CSKA Moscow 5-1 in their UEFA Champions League Group E opener.

But after dominating for long spells on Tuesday, Totti felt they should have had more.

“Looking at the whole 90 minutes, we had the clearer opportunities and could’ve won,” the Roma captain told Sky Sport Italia.

“We went down straight away to a penalty and came back into it, which wasn’t easy against one of the strongest teams in Europe.

“We proved what we are worth and what we can do in an arena like this. Our objective is to do our best, try to get through the group knowing it is not easy against sides like Bayern Munich and Manchester City, who are on our level if not better.

“Playing like this, we can get there.”

The goal also marked a first for Totti, who had never previously scored in England, but he chose to focus on his team’s display once more when asked about claiming the record.

“In all honesty, I wasn’t thinking about it,” he added.

“I always think of the team more than myself, that’s what kept me going so long. When I score for the team, then the personal records come as a consequence.”

Ashley Cole impressed at left-back on a composed return to his homeland and the former England international echoed Totti’s opinion that Roma might have left the Etihad Stadium with all three points.

“I think it was a good performance from the boys [after] going 1-0 down so early in the game,” he told ITV.

“We showed a lot character, determination and belief that we could get a result here.

“Maybe we should have won, you never know, but the boys can be proud of themselves today – playing against the [English] champions and a great team.”

Roma now face back-to-back games against group leaders Bayern Munich, meaning Cole was understandably reluctant to label his new employers as favourites for a qualifying spot, despite an early three-point advantage over winless City.

“It’s still early,” he added. “It’s one of those things, we’ve come here to win and are probably a bit disappointed we didn’t win but it’s a good point for us.”