Francesco Totti struck a brace and Alessandro Florenzi added another before half-time as Roma stunned Inter Milan 3-0 at the San Siro to keep its title dream alive on Saturday. Roma finished the match with 10 men after defender Federico Balzaretti saw red for a second rash challenge of the game in the final 10 minutes, but by then the damage had been done.
Totti struck a sweet opening goal in the 18th minute when he drove Gervinho’s lay-off past a static Inter defence and beyond ’keeper Samir Handanovic.
Roma won a controversial penalty five minutes from half-time and Totti stepped up to double the visitor’s lead. Florenzi, one of four scorers for Roma in last week’s 5-0 home rout of Bologna, made it 3-0 a minute before the break to virtually wrap up the points. This was Roma’s seventh win from as many games.
Although it remains in pole position, club captain Totti was careful not to make mention of the Scudetto, “It’s been an amazing start to the season. This squad can go far and although the season is long and we will come up against teams that are stronger than us, we have to fight for a Champions League place.
“That is our objective.”
Inter’s first defeat of the season under new coach Walter Mazzarri leaves it in fourth, now seven points off the pace.
The results: Catania 1 (Barrientos 59) drew with Genoa 1 (Legrottaglie-og); Napoli 4 (Pandev 3, Inler 26, Callejon 54, Hamsik 83) bt Livorno 0; Sampdoria 2 (Sansone 41, Eder 90+3-pen) drew with Torino 2 (Immobile 66, Cerci 76-pen); Udinese 2 (Danilo 33, di Natale 53) bt Cagliari 0; Parma 3 (Palladino 32, Rosi 70, Cassano 76) bt Sassuolo 1 (Berardi 45+6-pen).
On Saturday: Inter 0 lost to AS Roma 3 (Totti 18, 40-pen, Florenzi 44).