Spalletti says Juve deserve title

Roma coach stresses need to secure second place

(ANSA) - Rome, May 19 - AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said Friday that Juventus deserve to win the Serie A title and admitted he had at times "penalised" club legend Francesco Totti, who looks set to stop playing at the end of the season.
    Juve, who beat Lazio in the Italian Cup final on Wednesday and face Real Madrid in the Champions League final next month, can wrap up a sixth consecutive league title if they beat Crotone this weekend or win at Bologna the week after.
    "I think Juventus will deservedly win the title," Spalletti said when asked if he thought Roma could overturn the Turin giants' four-point lead in the last two games.
    "They've been the best. They set the pace. They were ready in every competition and in all the games they played".
    The coach stressed that he was focused on beating Chievo and Genoa in the last two matches to conserve second place, with Napoli just one point behind in third, and qualify directly for the group stage of next season's Champions League.
    Spalletti acknowledged that he had not given much playing time to former Italy forward Totti as he approaches the end of his playing career.
    "Sometimes I have penalized Totti and I'm sorry about that," he said.
    "But I have always said that I have to treat him like a (normal) squad member and I have to make decisions.
    "Totti is part of the squad. He is the most important player, our symbol, our legend. But I will continue the position adopted up to now in these last few matches".