Ranieri caused controversy by dropping captain Totti, who came off the bench to convert the winning spot-kick.
He explained: "Totti was coming from two games in quick succession and I needed to rest him. He knows everything I do is for the good of the team, he came off the bench and was not unhappy, giving the side all his support."
Totti said this match was like Roma's campaign in a microcosm and Ranieri agrees they are a different side.
"At the start of the season, we would not have been able to turn this game around. We were still thinking about last season, but all those slaps we got woke us up and we realised that we were back in it psychologically. It started from the Brescia game, even if we lost."