Di Francesco: I can't mark Salah with three players

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Clive Brunskill
The Italian club's manager is unwilling to completely change his plan simply to stop Liverpool's star man

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco warned his team against focusing too much on Liverpool star Mohamed Salah in the Champions League semi-final second leg.

Salah inspired Liverpool to a 5-2 win in the opening leg at Anfield , scoring twice and setting up two others against his former club.

But Di Francesco said it was unrealistic for his team to completely change their plans simply to stop the Egypt international, who has netted 43 goals in all competitions this season.

"I can't modify a squad for just one player who made the difference in the first leg. And neither can I just have the entire team look at Salah," he said on Tuesday.

"We have to work much better on our mechanism. I heard a lot of people talk about a three-man defence and not a five-man defence. It's like when we play 4-3-3 and when it's convenient, we play 4-5-1.

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"All I can say, the application and focus on such a player who has an impressive quality going forward is pivotal. We need to be better at reading such situations.

"I can't mark Salah with three players."

A pair of late goals at Anfield gave Roma hope heading into Wednesday's clash at the Stadio Olimpico, where they staged a remarkable comeback to beat Barcelona in the quarter-finals.

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