Paulo Fonseca said Roma should thank Liverpool target Alisson as he believes Shakhtar Donetsk would be taking a greater advantage into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie if it was not for the goalkeeper’s “extraordinary” performance.
Ukrainian champions Shakhtar came from behind to overcome Italian visitors Roma 2-1 in Wednesday’s opening leg in Kharkiv.
After in-form attacker Cengiz Under put Roma ahead approaching half-time, Facundo Ferreyra dragged Shakhtar level seven minutes after the interval before Manchester City target Fred’s stunning free-kick sealed the comeback.
The margin could have been wider but Alisson – who has been heavily linked with Liverpool – thwarted Marlos and Taison during the contest.
“The team performed well in the second half,” head coach Fonseca told reporters. “It wasn’t easy to keep up that pace after a long winter break.
“We could’ve won with a bigger margin and Roma must thank Alisson, as their goalkeeper performed some extraordinary saves.”
The manager went on to credit his side for adjusting to Roma’s style after the break.
“We didn’t actually start the game too badly, and even created a good chance, but didn’t have a player to poke the ball in,” he said.
“Later there was a problem with our positioning. Roma were aggressive while our lines were stretched. We sorted this after the break and that helped us win.”
Shakhtar travel to Rome on March 13 for the return leg, and will be wary of a trip to Italy.
The Ukrainian side topped Napoli 2-1 at home in the group stage before taking a 3-0 loss in Naples.