Spalletti proud of Roma after Coppa draw

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti was delighted with his players after last night's 1-1 draw with Sampdoria in their Coppa Italia quarterfinal first-leg clash.

Roma had to play with 10 men for most of the match after Philippe Mexes' dismissal just 17 minutes in, but still got an away result after Reto Ziegler and Mirko Vucinic were on target.

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"The lads put in a great performance, especially as they were facing a good team," said Spalletti. "The red card increased our difficulties, but we remained in the game and managed to maintain our balance, which was not easy.

"It is an encouraging result, but I would have preferred to win it, as the right circumstances were in place. Considering the way the match went overall, I guess it is a result we can be content with."

Sampdoria are kicking themselves after wasting such a golden opportunity to progress and must now win at the Olimpico on January 30 or draw by scoring at least two goals.

"I would have liked to end this match with the victory we deserved," said Samp coach Walter Mazzarri.

"After that Mexes incident we did not allow Roma anything. At the end we were tired, but considering the story of the game I think we deserved the win."

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