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Ranieri urges players to keep believing in Champions League chances

Roma defeated Juventus 2-0 to lie within one point of fourth-placed Inter Milan.

Roma manager Claudio Ranieri has urged his side to believe in their Champions League chances (Mark Kerton/PA)
Roma manager Claudio Ranieri has urged his side to believe in their Champions League chances (Mark Kerton/PA)

Roma boss Claudio Ranieri has told his side to believe in their chances of qualifying for the Champions League after a 2-0 win over Juventus kept hopes alive on Sunday.

Late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Edin Dzeko – after Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR – saw Roma move on to 62 points in sixth place, one point behind fourth-placed Inter Milan with two games to go.

“We must believe in it, but it does not depend only on us,” said Ranieri, who praised goalkeeper Antonio Mirante for keeping his side in the game in a first half dominated by Juve.

“Mirante kept us in the game,” he added in comments reported by Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He did great things, especially in the first half.”

Ranieri, who returned to his hometown club in March, only has a deal until the end of the season and said it was too soon to know what the future holds.

“I signed for the year and I don’t want to think about it,” he said. “I only think about working.”

The future of Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri has also been a hot topic this week as he denied rumours he might leave the champions-elect in the summer, and he again faced questions after the match.

“It will be important to evaluate this season and the next one because the margin of error is getting smaller and smaller,” said Allegri, who has guided the club to five straight titles while also finishing runners-up in the Champions League twice.

“Tonight we played a good game but in the first half we missed too many chances in the final third.”

PA

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